Weighty Matters

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want . . .

on June 28, 2012

Every time I considered a blog topic today, a song suggested itself as the title.  This could as easily have wound up being called “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”.  I’ll touch on why before I finish tonight  For now, let’s go with the title and topic that won out.  I thought about changing it to, “You Can’t Always Eat What You Want”.  This is true, but to continue with the song, if you try sometimes you just might find, you’ll eat what you need.

That’s something I need to remember every day.  Yes, I have a drastically reduced stomach that only holds small amounts.  However, it’s still only a useful, effective tool for me to use in the overall effort.  I still need to focus on a particular food plan and absolutely hit the mark with my daily food choices.  Every meal requires sticking to the plan and not eating whatever just because my brain tells me that’s what I want at the moment.   My weight loss is progressing at a terrific, rapid rate.  I do better the closer I stay on track.  Even if I only eat two-three ounces of food, I won’t be successful if those ounces I consume are made of sugar and starch instead of protein and veggies.  Some days I would love to make a lunch out of a small fast-food burger and fries.  I want weight loss more than I want that particular food, so I ignore what I want and eat what I need.

I’m not perfect.  I don’t ask perfection of myself.  There are times when I need to go ahead and enjoy that small piece of chocolate, the single onion ring, or the couple of small bites of dessert.  When I do, it is vital that I understand that I’m making a conscious, rational choice instead of operating from a place of compulsion.

Driving home from work, I couldn’t stop thinking about fried foods and chocolate ice cream.  I was tempted to stop into a store and pick up some, just for tonight.  I talked myself out of it, reminding myself that I have weight loss goals.  Tomorrow morning is my weekly “official” weigh-in and I want the number to be as low as it can be this week.  Anyway, I continued my one-on-one chat with myself until I got home.  Inside the house I greeted my enthusiastic, welcoming dogs and let them out into the yard.  I quickly changed into a swimsuit, grabbed my towel and nano and stepped into the pool to exercise.  (More on that later.)  By the time I was done, the dogs and I were all ready for dinner.  I heated up the gnudi in tomato sauce and mixed a little homemade Caesar dressing into some organic romaine and enjoyed a small, tasty, planned-it-this-morning, meal.  Yum!  A short time ago, I ate my also expected dessert — a small cup of no sugar added cherry Italian ice.

Tonight, instead of sitting in regret for giving into the temptation of compulsively veering off my chosen plan, I feel really great.  I had an honest food day and I exercised.  On all counts, I gave myself exactly what I needed.  Turns out that’s what I secretly, or not so secretly perhaps, want.

Now to the exercise.  The pool was the perfect temperature this afternoon and the weather was gorgeous with a brilliant blue sky, bright sunshine and a slight breath of breeze.  I love all of the songs on my nano but I’ve not yet organized them into separate playlists.  I might have a couple of up tempo rock songs and then a country ballad followed by a classic oldie and a couple of danceable pop tunes.

I adapt my movement to whatever song is playing.  If it’s slower in tempo I do squats, lunges, a number of different leg lifts, and some arm motions under water.  I jog in place to the faster tunes but frequently break into different dance styles — twisting, doing the pony, shimmying a little here and there.  Josh Turner’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance” came on and I attempted to line dance in the water.  About that time I openly laughed at myself.  If anyone else could have seen my overall routine, they surely would have wondered what the hell I was doing.

I’ve done true water aerobics classes.  I know they’re planned to deliver aerobic benefits while working different muscle groups.  If I want to maximize the benefits of my exercise time in the water, I should build playlists with lots of up tempo music selections in a row for the cardio work and then go into songs for concentrated arm, torso and leg work.

I’ll get around to that eventually.   Right now, the most important thing to me is that I keep moving for a minimum of 40 minutes.  When the music is fast, I step up my jogging pace.  When I’m working my muscles on the slower songs, I incorporate resistance from the water so my body really has to work.  It might not be pretty.  I might look silly as all get out, but I don’t care.  When the timer goes off, my body really feels like it exercised.  That’s what matters most right now.

My lesson from today is two fold… Get what I need and dance like nobody’s watching.   These are two excellent reminders to keep me on the road to success.

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6 responses to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want . . .

  1. Jill says:

    Love this post Mary! I can see you in the pool having a great time and it makes me smile. I also can really identify with that feeling of satisfaction from not “giving in” to the cravings, but it’s so hard in the moment when you really want whatever you’re craving! Way to go, you look awesome and you are a power of example for me xxoo

  2. robenagrant says:

    Oh this is hilarious. Yesterday I had to prepare my Golden Heart acceptance speech (you know, just in case) and I started it out with Mick Jagger’s words: “No you can’t always get what you want…and if you try sometime, you might get what you need.”

    Great minds think alike (and as my mother used to say, “And fools never differ.”) I should go to the pool and do some water dancing.

    • Mary Stella says:

      I miss seeing you already. Hurry back! Yes, it’s hard in the moment, but I try to remember what I learned when I quit smoking. “The urge to smoke will pass whether or not you have a cigarette.” I’m not convinced it works in the same way with chocolate, but I’m willing to act as if!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Robena, best of luck in the GH! I have to remember the “fools never differ” line. I love that!

  3. Your description of dancing in the water made me smile. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing – put a CD on, shove the couch and table out of the way and dance like nobody’s watching in my family room. I, however, have hit a large snag. School is out and now there are people here who can watch and make snarky comments. It’s very inhibiting!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Tell the snarkers that if they remain in the room watching they are obligated to join you. If they don’t want to dance, they need to vacate. So there. 🙂

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