Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grocery Store Confessional

I got into one of those random conversations with a near stranger in the local Trader Joe's that got me thinking as I walked away. The cashier was speaking to the customer on line ahead of me. The cashier was confessing her lack of attendance at the gym where the customer worked. I piped up and said I have to admit I have never had a gym membership. It's true I am not a gym person, I go occasionally but not religiously like some, I prefer my long rather meditative walks. The cashier cocked her head and said well you're lucky, you're naturally slim. I scoffed at this a bit and it got me thinking.

I am tall, at over 6 feet, I am 60% leg. I weigh between 182 and 190lbs depending on what season I am in. I do not consider myself slim, in fact I most often see myself as slightly pudgy. In reality I am not fat. I have a round belly but my arms and legs are long and fairly free of fat. I have a flat ass, I can't sit on hard chairs without my it hurting. I recognize that my perception of myself may not accurately reflect my physical reality but maybe that's a good thing. Honestly I try not to think about my body as I find my size sort of freaky.

I am not going to confess an eating disorder here, I don't have one. What I am realizing though is that I don't see food as convenient entertainment, I see it as a necessity and it's preparation an artful practice that is orderly and logical and subject to much control. I am not a faddist. I am trying to maintain a healthy body and I have strict beliefs about how to do that. I have that quote on my fridge and the fridges I frequent, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants". I think before I put things in my mouth and there are many things I simply won't eat any longer. I buy whole foods, meat, cheeses, grains, fruits and vegetables. I have fewer and fewer presto fallback foods. I still get that feeling of wanting something naughty like a doughnut or cake, I generally want the bready or the doughy but if I can just think about it awhile in a rational way I can usually easily dissuade myself from the craving.

Consequently I think a lot about food and what I should eat to keep my intake well balanced and interesting. I have the big picture in my head of what I have generally been eating and what I have eaten on any given day. I carry the macro and the micro view around with me, always weighing the findings. Have I had enough beans or grains, enough cold water fish, too much dairy, too much salt, not enough protein? At the moment I am attempting to train myself away from white flour and sugar which when I went at it hard core before Christmas yielded a 5lb weight loss which was a pleasant side effect. More importantly I noticed that my general anxiety was much less severe because my blood sugar levels were more constant, this is what truly motivates me, a feeling of calm.

I have been accused of being controlling and it's probably true but in a world where we have so little control over most things I feel okay about controlling how I am feeling through diet and exercise. I am less concerned about how I look since my view is fairly distorted anyway it's hard to gauge. If I feel good hopefully I look all right and if my 501's fit me that's ideal. It's funny to realize that others make these assumptions about a person's body. If only that cashier knew that I spend my day weighing and considering what to eat making sure never to have too much, denying myself all sorts of things in the name of physical and emotional enlightenment.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reading and Writing

My main resolution this year is to read more, a lot more. This will mean fewer meaningless blog posts and much less facebooking (thank christ). I bought a Kindle Fire and among the books I have on it is the title shown above. It's a brick of a book so lends itself well to a digital format. I am well into it and find myself reading late into the night and early in the morning. My mind is trained on the story and the time passes without being distracted by my own random thoughts. It feels great I have to say. It's like learning to breath underwater for extended periods and then before you know it you have developed gills and you stop coming to the surface at all. This is what I want, total immersion.

FYI, my goal for this blog is to write less frequent longer posts. I have to develop my ability to write in a more sustained way and develop an idea fully rather than just flit around here and there. Stay tuned.
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