I feel like Leonard Cohen might be an aquired taste. If so I have aquired it; and I hope you do too! Here’s to the musician who has brought me to tears more than any other. ❤ Happy Music Monday!
I have a confession. I read a self help book- and I liked it.
Geneen Roth has been on Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR and everything else you’ve ever watched on TV or heard on the radio. She’s been around for a while. But maybe, like me, you missed that.
This book, in a nutshell, is about being present. Being mindful and present as an answer to life’s biggest problems is certainly no new idea. What is a bit of a unique concept is the connection that Roth makes between mindfulness and the way we treat our bodies. According to the book- and I’m paraphrasing big time- when we take the time to really pay attention to our bodies and the food we put in them, we will know what we need and therefore come to a healthier place both physically and psychologically. Mindless eating, or any compulsive behavior, is considered a result of disengaging from the present. And it makes sense when you think about it. Why would a person eat when they’re not hungry or eat food that they know will make them feel bad? According to this way of thinking, we do this because we are checked out of the present moment.
Unlike the diet industry, this book makes no claim that being a certain size is the worst thing that could happen to you. The worst thing that could happen to you, in fact, is to be so disconnected from the present that your only reference for what your body needs is a number (scale, clothing size or calorie)- again this is my interpretation of the book. The answer then is listening to your body, not shaming it, not depriving it, but learning how to feel when you’re hungry and pay attention to what your body is really telling you it needs. Really paying attention to what your body needs is not easy when you’ve spent your whole life trying to overpower your body with diets.
Whether you’re into biology, psychology, or books like Women, Food and God you can find support for the same idea. Diets can be a distraction or even part of the problem when it comes to issues with food.
After reading this book, I realize that the diets that so many of us have been on for so many years, the ones I really hope my daughter never subjects herself to, are just the flip side of mindless eating. I realize that both cause you to avoid addressing what compulsion (to eat when not hungry- a really weird habit when you think about it) is all about.
This book is (figuratively) huge; and I’m really suprised I didn’t hear of it before. I know that there are tons of people out there like me who have been caught up in the diet/indulge/regret cycle for too long. I don’t believe this book has every answer. But I love that it in a sea of books and products that only muddle the issues, Geneen Roth is looking deeper.
When I started this blog I did it with the intent of changing one thing a week, mostly diet or exercise-wise, in an effort to become healthier every week and therefore super healthier in the longrun.
This is how its gone so far.
Week One: I cut out caffeine.
After two days of excrutiating headaches followed by three otherwise normal coffee free days I started remembering that I’ve read tons of stuff about coffee actually being good for you. Also I love coffee. Also I’m a better person in the morning when I drink coffee. And why was I even trying to give it up?
Week Two: Add 30-minute walks daily.
This was great for both me and my awesome dog, Riggs. This change is a keeper.
Week Three: Cut out peanuts
This lasted one day before I really wanted peanut butter which is weird because I don’t even eat peanuts or peanut butter very often. I prefer almonds. Do you see the pattern I’m seeing?
Week Four: Add 45 minute walk every week day
I love these walks. 45 minutes is really not that different from 30 minutes except I feel like more of a winner and Riggs is even happier.
Week Five: Cut out dairy.
I thought this was a really a great idea for several days and then… yeah you probably can guess.
Somewhere during this period I added vitamins, added more fruit and vegetables, upped the walk to an hour, and had five different doctor sessions revolving around my sleep issues (Good news on that front, by the way).
So it turns out I’m like a bratty kid that rebels against anything they have to do and has to be treated very carefully… by myself :/. Is that crazy? That was rhetorical.
Country music gets a bad rep; maybe it’s largely deserved that reputation in the past thirty-five years. But every now and then someone like Sturgill Simpson comes along and gives hope to the beautiful, raw, uniquely American genre that country music could be.
Here he is on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series a little over a year ago.
Happy Music Monday!
About a month ago I started blogging about making small changes weekly in order to become a healthier person over time. And look who’s biting my style this week!
This article really did have a lot of great ideas for making small healthy changes, which is apparently backed by research (Who’s a genius!?).
In my own healthy news, this week I did part two of something I have been avoiding for years.
I slept in a tiny room while being filmed and monitored by a stranger…
and hooked up to wires. It was a blast!
When I started talking about sincerely trying to be healthy a few months ago, M made me promise to talk to my doctor about my ungodly sleeping habits. Apparently, I kick, talk, scream, go long periods without breathing and snore like an old man with a cold. Sexy!
My doctor referred me to a sleep specialist who referred me to a sleep lab and I suffered through sleep study #1.
It. was. awful. The night started with a stranger gluing sensors to my head,legs and neck while making me engage in small talk. It then dragged on with my waking up every hour and laying uncomfortably still so as to not dislocate any of the 2,000 wires attached to me for eight hours.
A month later the sleep specialist informed me of the results.
I snore like an old man with a cold.
I am getting half of the deep sleep that I should be getting.
My limbs move more than they should while I’m asleep; and when they do it wakes me up.
I don’t have sleep apnea but might have a deviated septum.
I had to get a second study done to see if a cpap machine would help.
The second study was last night. And… the hills are alive with the sound of music! I haven’t felt this rested in… ever. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be 98% more alert and productive than I have been for the past ten years. And all I need is air blown in my nose all night to get back to my old self! Now that I’ve found it I won’t let it go! Please, sleep specialist, please say I can have my very own CPAP!
I’ll keep you updated.
Rewind two years and four months. I was at the OBGYN five months pregnant. It had taken me two and a half years to get pregnant, two and a half of the hardest years of my life. Infertility is awful! I already loved this little being growing inside me and I just knew he was a boy. I could feel it.
At first he wouldn’t uncross his legs so that the ultrasound tech could confirm his gender. Then twenty minutes later he finally moved so that everyone could see. He was… a girl!
I like girls. I am one. I never didn’t want a girl.But I had never thought of myself as the mother of a girl. I was terrified, for reasons I didn’t really understand. Now, as the mother of an amazing, funny, strong, beautiful girl, I know a little more about those fears. How I got from there to here is connected but complicated. Here is my attempt to explain it:
I went on my first diet in third grade and struggled for the next twenty-six years with body image, weight and the idea of what it means to be healthy and/or pretty. Like many American women, my happiness, idea of beauty, body image and confidence were wrapped up with my female identity in such a tangled mess that I didn’t know if I would ever be able to see any of it clearly. What did it mean to be healthy- not just skinny (I spent a good fifteen years just working towards that), but really physically, emtionally, socially healthy? Was that even something I was capable of? I wasn’t (still am not most days) sure.
But now there is this little two year old carbon copy of me running around my house asking me things like “What’s that?” (boobs was the answer) and refusing to eat vegetables. I need to be able to show her an example of what healthy, happy, beautiful girls look like because I want her to have a fighting chance at being one. So I’m on a mission to become one myself. I’m writing right out here on the internet because it forces me to be more reflective.
I’m a teacher by trade, something I love and have dedicated a large chunk of my life to. What I know from teaching is that you don’t have to have all the answers to start. My students ask me a new set of amazing, never-before-have-I- thought-about-that questions every week. What I know is that there is power in saying ‘I don’t know. How can we figure that out?’ So this blog is sortof a huge inquiry project. I have questions. Maybe some of my readers have the same questions. I know that reflecting and communicating are both really important to the learning process. So I hope the reflective journal that is my blog can get me (us if you want to come along for the ride) a little closer to some of the answers.
Michael Hurley is one of those rare artists that I randomly happened upon and no one around me knew about. I’m posting two of his songs because he’s that good.
I am a total hermit by nature. I love people. I love having new experiences. But my couch… its so comfortable.
These past few months in South Carolina, though, have even been too much for me. The “thousand year flood” seems to have kicked off a monsoon-style rainy season that has gone on now for three months. Mostly, we’re now the Northwest U.S., but less progressive and with (I imagine) a little less flannel.
We had to get out of the house today because I was going to start beating my head against a wall. And miracle of miracles! It wasn’t raining (cloudy and wet, yes, but no rain).
So we got lunch and headed to The State Museum.
We watched Polar Express in the museum’s 4D theater. N was a trooper for the whole 15 minutes! It was really fun.
We had some free time after Polar Express, so we were able to walk around and play a little.
M is 6’5. So N gets an extra special view everywhere we go.
Our last stop was at the museum’s planetarium for a holiday laser show. It was a little long and N started screaming about the potty half way through. So that was cool.
Over all, today was a reminder of how much there is to do even on a cloudy, wet day and how important it is to get out there. This year I hope to make small changes to be the healthiest person I can be. I want to fight my hermit ways and remember, going places is good for you. ❤
So far I have added a prenatal vitamin (not pregnant, but hopefully within the year), Vitamin D, B12, fish oil, more vegetables and more fruit. The hardest thing to add was vegetables. But it is slowly becoming more of our normal life.
This is what N and I had this morning for breakfast. (Spinach and sweet potates for breakfast- I’m such a grown up!) She prefers yogurt. But I’m really into it.
Good thing- because this recipe makes a ton. There is enough in the kitchen to last M and me three days and another week’s worth in the freezer!