Fat Lady on a Bike: My Journey to Peace and Fitness

Join me and my wonderful Electra Townie bike on my continuing journey to inner peace and both inner and outer fitness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best-Laid Plans

I have always been a planner.  Maybe I learned it from my father, who carefully planned our family road trips and taught me to be his navigator and expense-recorder; I know I grew up enjoying my own road trips twice, first in the planning and then in the doing.  I don't think I'm rigid about sticking to my plans, most of the time, and one of the things I love, especially when traveling, is deciding in the moment to take a side trip to see something that sounds interesting or drive to the end of a road just to see where it goes.

Unfortunately, this open and adventurous attitude has often seemed to fly out the window when I contemplate anything having to do with self-care.  Somehow, I feel that unless I make some very detailed plan for myself, I'm not in control and destined to failure.  Whether in the realm of exercise or food, having a set plan and following it has always seemed like the secret of success, and if I can't get it together to plan my meals or follow the schedule I've set for myself, I am a loser and not worthy of taking care of.

Needless to say, this is not an attitude that has helped me much in my recent struggles to get healthy and fit.  I am the Queen of Impossible Expectations, or at least I have been, and every time I don't manage to stick to the program, I've landed in a slough of despond.

Fortunately, I think that all the thinking about and practicing with mindfulness that I've been doing has started to bear fruit, and I use that metaphor deliberately.

Last Friday, the third opportunity I had to add a new food to my current restricted fare, I had planned to have broccoli, as I was sorely feeling the want of variety among my vegetable choices.  I went to the grocery store, fully intending to purchase said broccoli, and looking forward to steaming it for dinner that evening.  But when I stepped through the doors of my local Whole Foods Market, there, in rosy, succulent glory, was a mound of gorgeous apricots.  Apricots were also on my Phase 2 list, but I didn't feel in a rush to add them because I felt perfectly fine in the fruit department.  But as I stood, riveted by their sensuous beauty, I thought how the apricot season is so short, and I immediately jettisoned the broccoli.  That evening, I enjoyed my steamed cauliflower and had three tiny, perfect apricots for dessert.  And I felt just fine about having to redo my entire plan.

A hui hou.

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