Serenity, Now

Serenity-poster-laThe past two days, since making my resolution to go back to strictly counting Points and ditching Sparkpeople, I’ve found it surprisingly easy to adhere to Dr. Beck’s “No Choice” mantra, something that often plagued me in the past.

Naturally, it got me thinking: Why is it so easy sometimes, and so damn difficult — seemingly impossible — at others?

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that, 100 percent, it has to do with mindset an being in a good frame of mind.

Taking ownership of my decisions and accepting and personal responsibility for my actions. Realizing that each action has an equal and opposite reaction. Understanding that I am in control and no one else can help me get back to my comfortable place but me.

The past two days, I’ve made healthy choices, good choices, wholesome choices … which leaves little room for “extras” since these filling foods … well, fill me!

And, crazy as it sounds, I’ve done this without depriving myself in the slightest. It freaked me out to see that in the past two days, I’ve eaten what I might have eaten in one day just a mere week ago. But it was a great wake-up call, one I needed to hear.

Though I was always journaling what I ate, I was usually going above my Sparkpeople range, which meant –even in spite of my mega-workouts (700, 800 calories per my HRM on the high side, 500 on the low side) — I was , in no uncertain terms, over-eating.

I absolutely was not diligently watching my intake or actively trying to lose weight, as much as I loathe to admit it. I knew better, I just didn’t know better, if that makes any sense.

And now, I’m not being at all restrictive or even finicky about food. I’m just slowing it down, making more filling choices that leave less room for junk, versus having the junk (Luna bars, Chex, gourmet PB) and then trying to build dinner around it. I’m planning better, listening to my body’s cravings.

And you know what? It’s made me a calmer wife, friend and employee. Honest to God, it’s like a serene calm has washed over me. I feel like a different person, a better version of Melissa.

Wow, it’s like a miracle: when my eating and exercise is moderare and in check, I am in check. Hmmmm…!

In fact, I was at a work event I organized last night, and in spite of the beautiful spread in front of me (that I’d picked out, in my role of “event planner” for this gig) it wasn’t screaming my name.

When the panel portion ended at 5 and the food came out, I was genuinely hungry — lunch had been over five hours ago, in prep for the event. (I had planned ahead and brought a Rachel’s cottage cheese for a snack, but in carrying a ton of stuff to bring to the hotel for our event, I forgot it in the office fridge).

So I made a sensible plate and had some fruit and veggies, a chicken skewer and a single piece of shrimp cocktail (protein fills me). I didn’t need more, and even looking at the mountains of options in the spread, I knew I’d be going home for dinner. “No choice” wasn’t so tough after all.

Then at home, I made a deliciously satisfying dinner of an English muffin pizza and asparagus. (Total digression, but I *love* soy cheese now — it melts so well and costs less than my Kraft cheese does!!)

In addition to this calm about food, I biked Monday when hubby was at class, but took Tuesday completely off.

I realize this sounds ridiculous to most people to chatter with pride about taking a day off (most people struggle to fit in exercise and feel guilty when they skip) but I don’t “skip”; this is a huge deal for me, a perpetual over-exerciser.

Truth be told, and I hate to admit this but will in the name of transparency, I don’t really ever take days off, not even recovery days. I know I am supposed to, to help my muscles recover, but I have a hard time with that; I’m not a marathoner or anything, and so unless I’m really exhausted or physically am unable to get to a gym/go for a ride/run … I usually do some form of exercise each day.

Anyway, part of reaching this sense of calm is in resetting my hunger queues and listening to my body. Since it had been well over 30 days since I’d taken a day off from cardio, Shredding, P90X, I knew it was only going to benefit me to do it. And it felt amazing. Plus, it’s my rest week with P90X so I’m just modifying the week a little to suit my needs, not the other way around.

I don’t know how long this calm will last, or if it will. But I do know that I’ve so rarely felt this way.

I don’t know if it has to do with reading Monica’s book, or the decision to go back to WW, or hell, maybe it’s a combo of these things.

Whatever the case, I feel an enormous wave of calm … and I want to ride it out as long as I possibly can. Serenity, now … in this very moment.

How about you? What do you feel calm about at this very moment in your life?

13 thoughts on “Serenity, Now

  1. This is great! Thank you for linking back to that “no choice” post, too. I wasn’t reading back then and I really like that idea.
    I’m feel quite calm lately about my eats…much more in sync than I have been for the past month. I hope it continues!!

  2. Thanks Lara, Beck’s book is one of my go-to solutions and her advice resonates so much. Yea for calm! 🙂

  3. That is so wonderful that you were able to give yourself a day off…you certainly deserve it! I really struggle with that, too. I need to tell myself it’s OKAY to take a day off – I won’t gain 5 pounds and my body will actually thank me.

    I LOVE what you said about making filling choices, rather than eating junk and trying to form meals around that. That is exactly what I’m trying to do, too. And I’ve found that I’m enjoying those my filling meals a LOT more!

    Right now I am feeling calm because I know as the weather is getting warmer, I will crave (and hopefully eat!) more and more fruits and veggies. And it’s truly amazing how much better I feel when I eat my F’s and V’s!

  4. I think we’re on the same wavelength. I feel pretty calm right now too. My crazy comes out when I do Sparkpeople or WW points strictly, so right now I decided to approximate points each day just to have an idea of caloric intake vs. exercise. I’m going on day 4 right now and I feel very calm. I’ve been sick too, so I’ve had to take days off from exercise and listen to body. It’s been hard, but I know I’m doing the right thing for me….especially when my body starts craving things like greens!
    I keep thinking about your post about Seles’s book…thank you so much for your review! Her philosophy is so reassuring and it really reinforced to me that it’s ok to walk. I’m a runner – I do half marathons regularly and I used to HATE walking but you know what? It’s ok to walk! 🙂

  5. I also feel so much calmer when eating well. I know some people go crazy when counting calories but for me I find it calming because I know I am eating at the right amount for me and if I don’t lose (I am in active weight loss mode now) I know it is not ‘my fault”–a mindset that often causes me to go totally off track.

    Rest days are so important I can’t stress that enough. It is important to not think of exercise in terms of calories burned but rather what it does for your body–your muscles, heart, lungs, bones. Improving those things are the essence of exercise and you can only improve those things by taking rest days.

  6. Amen to this post. One or the other. when I try too many things, I get lost. When I just stick to my points, I am able to manage like a “normal” person. 🙂

  7. Thanks Holly! Absolutely — F&V matter — love ’em. Hubby bought a honeydew and I can’t WAIT to dive in! Fresh produce just makes a world of difference.

    Jen, I love that you’re feeling so calm too. Funny how it can just wash over us. It’s sooooooooooooooo OK to walk!!!!

    Lara, I agree 100%. It calms me. As for rest … I know .. it’s a mental hurdle I need to get over, trust me, I know! It felt good and today I’m just biking and P90X (rest week but there’s still workouts) — no gym cardio this week if I can help it!

    Thanks, Lisa! I agree. Doing too much is counter-productive, but with SP I wasn’t sticking to it anyway so I wasn’t eating to lose at all.

  8. I feel calm about life in general… surprisingly. I was so anxious, worried, upset, terrified, etc about coming home and returning to my “real” life but I’m fine. More than fine, I’m happy. I didn’t think I could do it but I can, the transition isn’t easy but I’m dealing with each obstacle as it comes. 🙂

  9. This was a very inspiring post, Liss! It actually made me decide to switch over to the simply filling/”core” version on WW – which I think is going to make a real difference.

    And great job taking a day off! I am of course like the majority of people and need to force myself to exercise and track my food, but I know you aren’t and your taking the day off made me want to deal with my own issues.

    Thanks again.

  10. Love this post! It is empowering me to join you. I have been doing my “own” WW and right now I need to stick to my points- because when I do, I lose. THANK YOU FOR THIS- it was like a swift kick in the pants for me- oh, and I plan to go get Seles’ book soon- your review is making me CRAVE it 🙂

  11. Danielle, I totally experienced reverse culture shock both times I lived abroad (5 months in Argentina, 8 months in El Salvador) so good for you having a sense of what’s possibly to calm, and remaining calm nonetheless!! Safe journeys back home!

    Thanks, Yas!!! I am glad I could help in some way but girlfriend, you’ve done an amazing job with your losses and keeping it off. I feel like I gained what you lost, it seems! Yikes!!

    Allison, that’s wonderful!! And yes, get the book 🙂

  12. I am so happy you are feeling calm. I feel like I`m in a similar place. I decided to get back to points too as I now believe I can do this without forgetting I`m valuable no matter what my weight. Enjoy this feeling!

  13. Thanks, Susie!! Exactly. We’re valuable no matter our weight; and if we feel good about ourselves, it translates to every aspect of our lives.

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