Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything

Being a description of the author's thoughts on the experience of participating in the "Body for Life" Challenge, questions of great philosophical import, and randomly selected topics of no significance whatsoever

My Photo
Location: Missouri, United States

In no particular order, I'm a professional lettering artist, a yoga practitioner, a cat lover, a vegetarian, a reader of everything from books to cereal boxes, married to a very attractive guy named Tom (nope, no kids), an exercise enthusiast, and a lot of other things I don't care to admit in a public forum. I have a BS in applied math that I haven't used in over 10 years, and I can put both feet behind my head. What else would you like to know?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Update on the New Way of Eating

News flash: I can't do this new "mindful eating" thing while I'm reading. I can choose what I want to eat very thoughtfully during a break in my reading, but once I go back to reading, I just can't concentrate on the food well enough to stop the downward slide into, "eat whatever is within, more! MORE!"

I have a habit of reading while I eat whenever there is nobody to talk to during a meal. I think that is because I get bored when I eat if I don't have something else to distract me. Exactly the sort of thing that this mindful eating business should help, both because I will choose things that I enjoy eating more, and because I will actually focus on the enjoyment of the food while eating it. Okay, so this will require some shifting in habits...I should have realized that most people (me included) would not get this down perfectly right out of the starting blocks.

Note to self: at any given moment, you can read, or you can eat; it is not advisable to attempt to do both at once. Besides, that will allow you to avoid the problem of getting food stains on the library books....

In other news, I just spent several hours putting a bunch of my BFL statistics (weight, body fat %, and so on), going back to the beginning of my BFL experience (March 30, 2005), into an Excel spreadsheet, and then playing with the graphs to get them to give me the information in the way I wanted it. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out how to do a few things, but I am nothing if not stubborn (some would say mulish...I am from Missouri, after all!). Now I can see the trends graphically, which I find a bit easier to interpret than the raw data.

I knew this already, but seeing the lines on the graph makes it more in-your-face: it is really weird...according to the body fat (BF) measurement on my Tanita scale, I am getting fatter; according to the calipers (which are supposed to be more accurate), I am getting thinner. There has always been a discrepancy, but it is getting bigger: the scale BF% is more than half again what the calipers show (slightly over 30% as opposed to slightly under 20% BF). You would expect that at least the two lines would move in the same direction, but they are almost in total opposition at this point. This is while my total scale weight putters around, not changing much. I am not sure what to believe. I think I will check with Tom and see if he is getting similarly counterintuitive trends on his measurements.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Sneakily Radical Way of Eating

A couple of days ago, I was trying to make a dent in the stack of unread magazines (although much of the house has been decluttered, I have trouble letting go of unread reading material), and I came across an interesting article in Yoga Journal regarding food, and people's relationship/attitudes relating to it. As a result of that article, I decided to change my approach to my diet (diet being a way of eating, rather than something specifically designed for weight loss). My new approach is to say that any food is permissible at any long as I really think about it first, and stay mindful of what I am eating while I eat it. That means that before I eat anything, I think about whether I am really hungry or just trying to fill some other lack with food. I think about what I really want to eat. I think about what will be the most satisfying, and how I will feel afterwards. I think about my long-term goals. And once I start eating, I focus on the experience of eating...the flavors, the textures, the scents, and how I feel.

I am just starting to work with this approach, but it has paid off very well so far. I am eating better, I am eating less, and I am enjoying what I eat much more. It has been an entirely positive experience thus far. I'll keep you posted.