Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekly update, 5/26/09

On a side note, Pubsgal arrives late to the party...

When writing today's update, I noticed something really weird. My subconsious aparently staged a rebellion, because my log is blank from Wednesday evening through Monday. I knew I didn't track over the weekend, but I forgot that I had kept leaving my log at home during the week and didn't track then, either. I'd have been much more more okay with this if it were a planned vacation from tracking, but it wasn't. Now, I wasn't going to beat myself up about this, but I was going to issue a stern warning. Then I started writing about something curious that happened to me on the way home yesterday.

Last spring, I bought the May 2008 issue of Oprah magazine, the spirituality issue. I had ripped out all the articles I wanted to read and recycled the rest, then the articles ended up at the bottom of my travel bag for the past year. Finally, on this trip, I dug them out and started to read. I especially liked the "Blinded by the Light" article, but some of the other articles made me feel--um, how to put this nicely? Less than spiritually uplifted. (Reading the interview with Eckhard Tolle, for example, gave me a headache. I find that Pema Chodron works better for me; she's funny, describes concepts concretely, and while she is serious about her material, she has this not-taking-myself-too-seriously vibe that I like.)

Then I ran into the summarizing letter, ostensibly written by Oprah herself, in which she states:
"Spirituality isn't something I believe in. It is what and who I am: a spiritual being having a human experience, as the French philosopher and priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin profoundly said.

"Knowing this has made all the difference. It allows me to live fearlessly. And to make manifest the purpose of my creation. And I will be bold enough to say I know for sure it's the greatest discovery of life: to recognize that you're more than your body and your mind."
Reading this--which was written before the hullaballoo about Oprah's berating herself about her weight, but read by me well after it all--made me feel sad for her. It seems to me that if a person truly believes, deep down in one's soul, that one is more than one's body and one's mind, wouldn't one be more at peace with both? I tried discussing with Mr. Handsome-and-Handy, but he didn't really quite grok why this was bothering me.

Him: *man sigh* "She doesn't write that stuff, she has a whole group of people who do!"
Me: "Even the letter, written in the 'I' voice?"
Him: "Yes!"
Me: "Well, she really ought to read stuff attributed to herself, then."

I didn't quite grok it either. It felt frustrating...because while I respect that she has done good things in the world and has the position and power to continue doing much good, I don't quite grok the whole Oprah fanaticism thing. And yet, here I was, getting worked up over the ironic contrast of Oprah's spiritual life and physical existance. It seemed to me, to paraphrase the last sentence of her letter, that she must have stopped making the daily choice "to be in the world, not of it."

Now, I don't think that being spiritual means totally neglecting the body; on the contrary, feeling like Oprah described has come to mean the following things for me (everyone else's mileage may vary):
  • Taking care of the body with proper food and activity.
  • Being free from caring overmuch about society's standards for what's physically attractive, where "overmuch" means to the point of disorder or avoiding doing the things one likes to do because one doesn't "look good" doing it. (Swimming and swim suits come to mind here. Probably because I read Cranky Fitness: "How to Survive Swimsuit Season" today. ;-)
  • Gently noticing my past mistakes and quietly deciding that I can do better, starting right now (vs. intense self-flaggelation).
Am I there yet? No, but I guess that's why it's called a "spiritual journey," rather than a "spiritual destination." Aparently, Ms. Winfrey isn't basking there yet, either, but I hope she will get there, too.

Back to the van: Thing 2 picked up on my mood and (thankfully) interrupted my frustrated attempts to explain how I was feeling. "Mommy! I have a song for you!" I stopped, a little reluctantly. And then she sang me the "Skinnamarinkadinkydink" song, complete with hand motions. That girl has the best timing.

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 96 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting average: 97 (met goal of less than 120, 100% of days)
Weight goal: +0.8 lb (did not meet goal of either maintain or make progress toward goal)

Food goals:
Of what I did track...
- Consumed at least 4 meatless, low-fat meals and 1 fish meals. (met meatless meal goal; missed fish meal goal by one meal)
- Fiber? I know I ate with an eye toward it, but I'm only sure about getting at least 30 grams last Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Did not meet my coffee goal.

Exercise goals:
Met my Women's Challenge goals (thanks to the difference between my personal tracking running Tues.-Mon. and WC running Sunday-Saturday and my having gotten in a 30-Day Shred workout the prior Monday). However, I didn't quite meet the personal goal of 30 minutes x 5 days/week. I missed my swim and spin. Did one walk, Body Pump class, and one terrific run. During our trip, though, I played with the kids a lot (including doing some rail push ups and attempts at crossing the monkey bars) and we had a great afternoon recreational swim at the pool.

Misc. goals: Got adequate sleep all nights.

Monthly Measure

Bust, -.5; hips, +.5; everything else unchanged. Weird. I also measured both thighs this time, and--maybe it's just a measuring anomaly, but there seems to be a 1" difference between the two.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
- 4 or more meatless, low-fat meals and 2 or more fish meals.
- On work days, switch to tea and plain water after that first cup of coffee.
- Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day and work up to consuming 50 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
Minimum of 30 minutes of workout 5 days/week. Workouts to include at least 1 bike, 1 run, and 1 swim per week, plus 2 strength training per week.

Misc. goals:
- 7 or more hours sleep/night.


Miz said...

ahhh the Great and Mighty O.
Her year long crusade to be every woman and just!like!us! has made me love her that much less.
All rings so inauthentic and written by others to me as well.

GREAT JOB on the challenge.
and, almost more, I love the MOMMY I HAVE A SONG FOR YOU intuition of our little ones.

Juice said...

I love your use of grok in this post. It made me feel all smart and literary! ;)

Not sure how I feel about Oprah - I never watch her show or read her mag. I have read several of her book club selections though.