Saturday, December 14, 2013

Enjoy Your Food #myheartdayresolution

I'm not ashamed. (Okay, maybe a little) I have lost maybe 10 pounds (and gained it back and lost it again) since I decided back in February to lose... 30? In my defense, I have since been diagnosed with some weird thyroid disease that can't decide it it's overactive or under (Hashimoto's), among other things. So, weight loss is going to be a challenge. But I have learned more about myself than the fact that my hormones are completely out of whack. This weight loss journey, as unsuccessful as it may have been so far, has taught me many things about me, my relationship to my body and my relationship to food.

"Enjoy your food" is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given in relation to dieting, and one of the hardest for me to follow. It's not that I don't like food, I love it. I love growing it, smelling it, preparing it and eating it. But to truly enjoy my food, I would have to slow down. I would have to find myself in the moment, taste each bite, feel the texture, experience the aroma, truly enjoy it.

I have a really hard time doing just one thing at a time. When my Sunshine is in the bathtub, I'm either cleaning the bathroom, reading a book or knitting. When I'm watching Hulu I'm either cleaning the living room, knitting, writing or snacking (or a combination of the above). (Right now, Once Upon a Time is on Hulu in another Window) And when I'm eating, if there isn't anyone there to have a rousing conversation with, I'm usually writing or researching. I have to force myself to join my Sunshine when he has his meals during the day. I would much rather have my lunch in front of the computer. When I eat I don't think about the food. I think about all the other stuff I'm doing and the food is just one more distraction.

I know that my tendency for distracted eating leads to a tendency for over eating. The truth is, my fat doesn't come from eating crap anymore. Well, not most of it. My fat comes from me scarfing down food while doing other things, barely chewing, barely noticing I'm eating, not noticing I'm feeling full. And then eating more, because that other thing I was doing while eating is still happening and so I just need to fill my plate again and again until I'm finished with this article. Or that show is over. Or the person I'm talking to decides they're done eating.

Taking the time to be in the moment is something I have worked hard to cultivate. It's not in my nature. I do a Yoga video every morning to focus myself on myself. I take time to read and play with my little boy and force myself to do nothing else at least once a day. It's hard. I mean, it's fun. But it's hard.

Eating mindfully, enjoying my food, is a habit that has been difficult for me to cultivate because eating isn't special. It is a thing that I do 3-5 times a day every day and have done all my life. It's just a thing. Like brushing my teeth. And... well I just have a hard time doing anything that can be done while doing something else without doing something else.

Now that I've totally psychoanalyzed this issue, I'm making it a goal for the month. I may have to begin by increasing the importance of my meals, maybe dressing them up, lighting some candles, saying grace - every time, not just at dinner. This will help instill the "specialness" of my meals and encourage me to focus on them and truly enjoy them. And here is a chart that I found online to help me out

Monday, December 2, 2013

Good Prepper Habits

Having gone through another power outage, I have identified some habits I would like to cultivate to support my emergency prepping goals. Without further ado, here they are. Any thoughts you have on the subject are welcome as well.

1. Shop for the long haul
Now that my nearest grocery store isn't very near at all, and we've gone down to one car in order to better afford our little bit of paradise, I am trying to minimize my shopping trips as much as possible. I do this by making a menu for the month and a shopping list to match. This isn't easy. It takes more than one cart and way too long. I hate shopping. But when I shop for a month at a time, guess what! I have a month of supplies in my house. And it makes it easier to budget too.

2. Do Your Chores
Nothing's more frustrating than putting off doing the dishes till tomorrow only to discover that you have no power (and therefore no water) the next morning. Just do it. Yea, I have a heck of a time with this one.

3. Get Ready for Tomorrow Today
When you wake up in the morning and there's no power, it's nice to know that your pitcher is already full of filtered water, your clothes are laid out in the usual spot, the diaper bag is already ready to go, your lunch is packed and you've already had your shower. There's enough to panic about without worrying about the stuff you could've handled last night.

4. A Place for Everything
Put everything away as soon as you're done with it. That way, when the power goes out, you at least know what direction to grope blindly in.

5. Keep Your Tank Full
I learned during the great East Coast blackout a few years ago that you can't get gas when there's no power. When the rest of my family hightailed it up North to Grandma's house, I was stranded with an empty gas tank. Now that we live far away from the nearest gas station it's even more important. If I could just get my husband on this bandwagon.

In a power outage, your fully fueled car is your transportation if you need to evacuate. It has a radio so you can get news. And you can use it to charge your cellphone and other devices.

6. Keep it Charged
Keeping your cellphone and other devices fully charged makes it so much easier to use them when charging is no longer an option. Plugging them into the charger every night is a good habit to get into.

7. Be Redundant
So this last power outage I had to call 411 to get the number of the electric company because I had the number stored on my computer. I get electronic billing, so the invoice with the phone numbers was, yes, also stored on the computer. Which doesn't work when the power's out. I also couldn't call my clients to reschedule for the same reason. I like to keep my contacts on the cloud, though. That way I can access them anywhere that has WiFi. Keeping your important information in more than one place can be helpful. So is having more than one first aid kit, in more than one place. Lots of flashlights, in multiple locations. Lots of smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers throughout the house and lots of different ways to escape.