A Reward

November 29, 2009

It is official…

I am now registered for the local Marathon here in March.   It was already a plan, but holding off on the actual registration has been bugging me for the last couple of weeks.

Recent events (mother-in-law having a stroke,  major repairs at the rental property and a monster of a storm) had put a huge damper on any running for the last couple of weeks.  It has felt good to get back out on the road this past week and feel good while doing it…

Running relaxes me.

It is me and my body…alone.

Unless a car invades the crosswalk while I am still there.

Last year, I felt like I needed to run the Marathon to prove something to myself.

What I did prove was that “gutting” out a Marathon is not a smart thing to try to accomplish.  Signing up at the last-minute was a silly move on my part.   The 1/2 Marathon was sold out in Late January and, in a rash on-line moment, I signed up for the big daddy.

An unmentionable physical ailment also keep me from running for most of the last two weeks before the race to compound my lack of a solid training plan.

Not this time.

I have a training plan, but it is just a guide to keep me moving in the right direction…it is nothing to get too obsessive about until March.

Running is a release for me, and this time, the Marathon is a reward and not a challenge.


Not Just the Absence of Illness

November 29, 2009

Today’s message from DailyOm, a woo-woo website that sends me daily wisdom, is marvelous, and I’ll just quote it in full here.

Redefining Health: Throw Away Your Scale

Health is not a numerical concept and cannot be defined using statistics. Human beings, however, tend to want to quantify well-being into easily understandable figures. We feel compelled to ascribe numbers to every aspect of wellness, from the qualities of our food to our fitness levels to the physical space we occupy. As a consequence of social pressures, we turn our attention away from health and focus instead on the most contentious of these figures—weight—checking our scales to see how we measure up to our peers and role models. Yet each of us is equipped to gauge our relative healthfulness without any equipment whatsoever. When we have achieved a state of wellness, we feel buoyant and energetic. Some of us are naturally slim, while others will always be curvy. No matter what our weight, we can use the cues we receive from our physical and mental selves to judge how healthy we really are.

When you throw away your scale, you commit to a lifestyle that honors the innate wisdom that comes from within your body and within your mind. It is logical to examine how you feel while considering your health—a strong, fit, and well-nourished individual will seldom feel heavy, bloated, or fatigued. If you have concerns regarding your weight, remind yourself that at its proper weight, your body will feel buoyant and agile. Movement becomes a source of joy. Sitting, standing, walking, and bending are all easy to do because your joints and organs are functioning as they were meant to. When you are physically healthy, your mind will also typically occupy a place of well-being. Mental clarity and an ability to focus are two natural traits of whole-self health. Surprisingly, promoting this type of easy-to-discern wellness within yourself takes no special effort outside of satisfying your hunger with nourishing, wholesome foods and moving your body.

The numbers you see on the scale, while nominally informative, can prevent you from reaching your healthful eating goals by giving you a false indicator of health. You will know when you have achieved true health because every fiber of your being will send you signals of wellness. When you choose to listen to these signals instead of relying on the scale, your definition of well-being will be uniquely adapted to the needs of your body and of your mind.

Why Substitution Doesn’t Work

November 15, 2009

consciouscookOne of the gifts I got for my birthday was a cookbook called The Conscious Cook, by Tal Ronnen. Ronnen is apparently a highly respected vegan chef who is trying to bring meatless cuisine to the forefront. There’s much discussion in the book about why removing animal products entirely from one’s diet is the best way to eat. Although the self-righteousness is definitely present, the attitude is more…cultish: well, don’t you see that it’s just simpler, and just right, to think the way that we do?

For over a year now I’ve been trying to keep meat out of my diet as best as I can. It started because I had to lower my cholesterol, but then I found that the less meat I ate, the better I felt. There are fewer calories in non-meat protein alternatives, so it’s easier to lose or maintain weight with them, and they are much less expensive.

The issues I have with vegetarianism and veganism are another post for another time (I’ve written and deleted hundreds of words here because they’re off-track), and I’m really just trying to get at something weird in this cookbook that I’ve noticed elsewhere in the vegetarian world. That thing is the matter of substitutes.

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The Conflict of Weight Loss

November 7, 2009

The connection that yoga gives you with your body is one that I find unique. Since I was never an athlete, it’s possible that as an athlete you become just as connected to your body, using it constantly to do what you do, and I just never experienced this. But with yoga, I certainly have.

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