Thursday, December 29, 2016

Choose Your Lifestyle and the Food Will Follow

Sitting in our Economy-Comfort (that's an oxymoron!) seats, Tony turns to me just before take off and congenially accuses me of taking him to post-holiday fat camp.

Not intentionally, but a week away after his our Christmas indulgences, fat camp isn't such a bad idea. We are leaving behind icy, snow covered roads, uninviting 20 degree weather, and a cupboard full of Christmas chocolate. We're headed for mostly sunny and 70 degree weather, sublime conditions for running, swimming, paddle boarding and biking, and a kitchen void of all the Christmas sweets. We'll shop at Farmers Market and feast on Valencia oranges, strawberries, and mini brussells sprouts.

As I walked the beach this morning, I realized my weight concerns are not about thinness or how I look--it's about wanting a certain lifestyle--wanting it enough that I don't consider the necessary adaptations and changes as sacrifices. Wanting the energy to ski Park City or climb the Great Wall of China, to chase grandsons, requires a different focus--a focus on the greater privileges of fun! Not a focus on denial.

I am enamored with a new TV drama in which one of the characters is medically obese. I love Kate! In episode one, on her 37th birthday, she's reached the limit. She's desperate and intolerant of her life and she's mustered the needed courage to step on the scale--finally. Her body is so out of balance, she falls backwards. But she's made the shift, and I believe that Kate will attain her lifestyle goal, but not only out of sheer desire, but from addressing her emotional needs as well.

Recently, the daughter of a friend was in my company, and we had lunch together in my kitchen. After finishing our sandwiches, her mother came into the room, horribly upset and in tears. I watched the friend's daughter go to the fridge and pullout the fixings for another sandwich.

My own daughter asked why I always went to the kitchen to eat when I was on the phone with one of my sisters. Today when I dropped my mom off at the airport, I start craving gingerbread.

When I asked myself why I was craving gingerbread, I became aware. Awareness and consciousness was enough. I didn't need to eat gingerbread; I only needed to recognize the sad feelings associated with Mom leaving.

After our family get-together on Christmas Eve, while hugging my 82 year old mother in law good-bye, I noticed the muscles in her arms.

"I bet your abs are rock hard too, aren't they?" I playfully poked her abs and was actually surprised how  ROCK hard they really were.

"It's all that shoveling," she explained.

My mother-in-law chose her lifestyle. She built a house on a hill and put in an abundant garden of fruit trees, strawberry plants, raspberries. She needed to build pathways and trails and a small patio nestled among the scrub oak. She loves to dream, create, and execute the plan. She eats to live her lifestyle.

When we finished our delicious dinner out tonight, the waiter asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu. It was easy and natural to tell him no, as I pictured myself bike riding home from the restaurant.