10/13/2007

Life on the frontier

I'm here, I'm wrapping things up before I venture down to WV for my sisters wedding. Me and Josh are renting a car for the trip so I'm looking forward to a road trip and a little vacation away from Brooklyn. I looked at the map to see if there would be anything worth to stop and see on our trip and so far I can't find anything. Someone should create a website that gives you a list of worth-while stops on your way somewhere. We are stopping through Harrisburg PA, near Hershey as well as Cumberland and some other spots.

I feel like October this year has been one of those off schedule months full of waiting and anticipation. Last week Josh was out of town and it was just me and the cat. I didn't do a whole lot besides giving the apartment a good clean, which is good mentally. I mentioned before the start of a 12 week (book) course called the Artist Way. Its a book that guides you through creative recovery and honestly I feel like it can be applied to any sort of recovery. As I read it, I see how this book can help with weight loss. There is a required 3 page writing exercise every morning. Basically you just write everything that comes to your mind. Its not planned and rarely makes sense, its just getting it out there. Brain drain as the author calls it. I can't tell you how free I feel from my thoughts after writing it. The author suggests writing down negative thoughts about yourself as they come along and then writing in an affirmation. I want to incorporate a lot of these practices in losing weight.

This week we went to the gym once early in the morning. I walked 40 minutes (medium speed, with an incline) on the treadmill. It was a lot harder than the stationary bike, but a lot more refreshing too. Eating has been hit or miss this week. Which has made me feel even more as though I want to be on a plan of some sort. Something, anything. I hate that idea, being on and off something. I've thought a lot about it. I feel like a plan is needed for a goal. I keep hoping that I can reach my goals without direction, that I can intuitively feel may way there, but I just keep getting side tracked or taking the wrong roads.

I watched the documentary Spellbound recently and I felt inspired by the children who worked so hard towards the spelling bee. I think spelling bee's are a bit trivial, as I lack them myself. I notice that I put loose instead of lose over which makes me cringe every time I catch it. Anyhow, the children in this movie work really hard to achieve the goal of going to the national spelling bee. They sacrificed their social lives and free time working towards this goal. Non of them got to nationals without hard work or dedication. I'm feeling more and more that weight loss isn't a way of life or an intuitive change for me, it is something I have to do with dedication and tenacity. I feel like I prevent myself from trying a lot of the time because I fear that I will gain it all back, which is the statistic that looms over the head of everyone who has lost and wants to lose. Isn't fear a powerful element in our lives? Its amazing really.

I've thought a lot about rejoining weight watchers as in going to the meetings. I often wish that I could have a place like weight watchers without the baggage of it being weight watchers. Not sure if that makes sense. It feels silly when you go and have to introduce oneself and say "this is my second, third, fourth time here". When I first started going I thoughtlessly said in my head "I don't want that to be me". Coming back. I know so many that constantly stop and start and always keep going back to gain control. I feel like if I go back, I will be in that cycle of thinking "well I can always go back". I always realize that it doesn't have to be like that, its totally up to me. I'm going to think about going back this week and try to decide if that is the best decision or not.

Speaking of cycles I was thinking this week how wonderful positive cycles are in my life. I'm big on excuses, I often think "how can I leave the house when I need to clean?" "how can I eat well today if I didn't plan it out?" I realized that it is easier and more helpful to create positive cycles than negative ones. A neat apartment leads to a planned day a planned day leads to eating well eating well leads to exercise exercise leads to creative time...and so forth. I think the ideal would be to be productive even if everything isn't "done" or "in place". Making the best decisions with what is going on even if it isn't the ideal situation. I keep reminding myself that the more energy I give the more I will get.

Moving on, I've been watching the PBS shows lately called the 1900 house or the Frontier house. Finishing up the frontier house the main thing that called to me was how fit and healthy the participants became. They weren't fat people by today's standards, but definatly improved their health often very dramatically. We all read the news about the how obesity is taking over our lives and that people were never this fat. Watching modern people go back, its very easy to see why people are fat now. Its so obvious that I am laughing now at the question to begin with. And guess what? A lot of these people ate eggs, butter, flour, sugar, but food was a basis of survival (and still is). They has budgets and had to ration out their food supply. They commented that the average American eats over a hundred pounds of sugar a day, but during that time it was dramatically lower. They also worked very hard physically . I know that saying this is very obvious, but it seems so silly when I hear people blaming their fat on McDonalds or Trans Fats or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The families in the show made really wonderful discoveries about themselves and modern life. I would say that everyone that lived this way for 4-5 months truly tapped into something wonderful within themselves. One of the teenage girls made the comment "I feel happy doing this work, I didn't at first, but now I feel like I'm actually contributing". The children also commented after coming back to the modern world about how bored they were with all of the toys in the world, they had so many choices and everything they had felt less special. One boy said that having fewer things made him appreciate them more and were more exciting to him. Its true that so much as changed during this time. Illness can be cured more easily and life expectancy has been improved. Human rights in America has improved. Knowledge and education is more accessible. I can't help but feel that incorporating some principles of living from 100 years ago is essential for happiness in 2007.

Back when I went to my school counselor I said to her over and over "I'm not happy, because my life is too easy". Which at the time sounded really crazy. She even noted "why do you intentionally want to make your life harder?". I explained how frustrating it was that my parents took care of me financially, I had too much food, I could go anywhere in my car...everything was so easy. It felt silly at the time, being 22 and not taking care of my own life or my own direction. I felt ridiculous that my parents were paying for my rent. And its interesting to me to note that even thought I had these things that were supposed to be good for me, they made me feel defeated and depressed. Having too much will never make me happy. And that is still a hard lesson to learn and accept. I still shop too much thinking that a new product will change how I feel, or eat too much knowing that I will never be mentally full. Why are these simple lessons the hardest ones to learn?

I'm asking myself now, how can I incorporate parts of life a hundred years ago into my life now? For starters, they did not have packaged/processed or fast foods. They ate close to the earth. They walked everywhere, miles and miles or walking every day. They couldn't avoid physical labor. Over eating was not an option, at all. They ate for health and a lot of these people ate very simply. They did not die without a "balanced meal" every day. They worked hard toward goals. They did not over fill their homes with stuff. Its an interesting perspective on life. I want to add some aspects of life on the frontier and subtract some aspects of life now.

I probably won't post anything until I get back on the 23rd. I'm off to be a maid of honor, wish me luck.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

Good luck! and defintely go to Hershey. My family lives in PA but not really near Harrisburg or Id tell your some other places to go other than Hershey. I agree, I dont like people who blame fast food. they were the ones who went in and ate at McDonalds, etc. Sounds like an interesting show though. If you feel like you need support, dont not go to meetings because you are embarrased to admit that it is more than your first time. I did WW 3 times so Im sure you are not the only person. Just find yourself some support. I seem to be lacking that and it makes it a lot harder.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Agent 023 said...

GOOD LUCK! :)

I know what you mean when you say you had the WW enviroment, with out the 'WW'. Ive been looking for that myself :S
I also agree with what you say about "preventing yourself of loosing weight in fear of gaining it back"
Sometimes I feel like it wont even be worth it, so why even bother. But thats not true!!! I always shakes these thoughts away, and look at all the benefits Ill get from loosing the weight, etc.
Like I said, good luck with your trip and all, Ill be waiting for your next blog =]

3:03 AM  
Blogger honib1 said...

have a great time at the wedding..I have done WW over and over.. and I think its a great plan.. I am on a program now similiar basically counting calories.. I like that best.. keeping a food log works for me..great post!!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Scale Junkie said...

I hope you have a lot of fun at the wedding!

I've done WW many times and the one thing I've learned from them is that calories (points) do matter. From other plans I've learned that exercise matters. I'm doing this on my own with the support of so many wonderful bloggers. I joined the Tales from the Scales challenge to give myself an accountability of weigh in and so far so good. I really think you need to do what works best for you!

8:33 PM  
Blogger Lily T said...

I’m like you. I can’t seem to get to my goals “intuitively”.

Your observations regarding “Frontier House” are insightful. I can see how modern life can be overly abundant, but I can’t see ever wanting to go back to the way it was. I would rather worry about losing weight than finding enough to eat.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever decided to just ACCEPT yourself as who you are? You are very pretty and I'm a straight woman saying that. You are fat. It's three little letters, what are you so afraid of? Has your husband threatened to leave you? There's nothing sadder than an insecure woman.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yUTJQIBI1oA

Honey, if you ain't thin now, you ain't gonna be! You are waisting (pun intended) your time and money.

Unless you have weight-loss surgery, which will ruin your gorgeous looks, just ask Star Jones, and starve yourself for
the rest of your life, you ain't
gonna be thin! But hey, since
you want to give away money,
can I get some?

5:10 PM  

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