Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 13: "Smart dogs KNOW ice cream is GOOD!"

OK, ask me how hard it was last night in this searing heat wave NOT to buy ice cream! There it was stacked high in the freezer case at Shopper's Drugmart. A premium dairy brand. In every flavour I LOVE. And half-price. GIVE ME A BREAK! How is one to keep losing pounds and building muscles during these dog days of summer when smart dogs everywhere KNOW that ice cream is good for you to eat.  Calories... do they care?

But, you'll be proud of me. I settled on 2 diet 7-ups (an emergency purchase and immediately consumed to fend off the heat exhaustion acquired en-route) and some very low-fat yogurt. Yes, you're right, my halo does pinch a wee bit this morning. Dieting is so very hard for me. I have always been a rather passionate individual inside. I guess it is part of the artisan's creative personality to be like this. Add to that a tendancy towards compulsive behaviour and it all spells trouble with a capital 'T'. One peanut or one small handful of peanuts just never quite does the trick. I forge on and on. It never augers well, I'm afraid.

Here's the thing. I LIKE being passionate! I LOVE grabbing at life greedily with both hands, feeling deeply, heart-on-sleeve, taking emotional risks with people, new situations and art alike, living out the daily drama to it's fullest extent. Not stopping til all the possibilities and opportunities have been explored. There is a directive written right into the 'Gillian genes' that says: 'Grow whenever, however, wherever you can'.  Unfortunately it is the 'wherever' part that screws things up as these genes don't discriminate before growing fat thighs. But what the hay, it is what 'feeds' the creative process - for me anyway. Is my waistline doomed for life? Ya think? I am NOT giving up. I have, as you know, been exercising and dieting now since Valentine's. 'Heart Day' seemed like the perfect occasion to begin a '3rd-trimester-of-life' plan. I am proceeding very slowly, losing the equivalent of only about 1 lb per week. So far 30 pounds have bit the dust. But this isn't a race to take off weight. It IS an exercise to find renewed health AND creativity AND a newly adjusted path to find my way through the coming years.

Passion and dieting are tough cookies to balance. I don't want at the end of my life NOT to have tried out all the stuff that I really wanted and had the opportunity to try. Not to have told everyone I met and liked that I loved them. Not to have gone places I really wanted to go. Not to have flown high in the planes for which I hold such terror. Not to have felt all that I could possibly feel about living and being alive. Not to have eaten ice cream during the long hot summers of life. And on birthdays. And anniversaries.  And Sundays and Thursdays!  Ah... you can see my predicament!  But, we can't give up our passion for the things we love in life or we are already doomed, I fear, to unhappiness and dreary days ahead, becoming needlessly, avoidably 'old' of spirit.

So part of this year's learning is not so much to become thin as it is to retain all the passioniate zest for life AND retain moderate weight levels. To live life full-extent AND acknowledge that it is only 6 months and 24 days until age SIXTY (oh boy) arrives. You notice the word 'AND'. Because I am certain we can learn to do both: keep passion alive AND cultivate moderation; keep the spirit and energy of youth AND grow into our older years. 

"How?" you ask. Don't know yet; I'm working on it. Sigh. The first step I think is to simply be concious of who we are, being honest about this and about how we operate inside and what we WANT and need to be 'us' going forward. I think it is about BALANCE too. Even when dieting, it IS ok to have ice cream when we passionately WANT some 'AND' when we can also BALANCE it with MORE exercise or a few MORE minutes of walking.

So it's not about LESS so much as about MORE. MORE ice cream and MORE walking. My particular Waterloo is food. Other folks get felled by emotions, relationships, affairs, gambling, under-acheivement, over-achievement, boredom, health, depression, work - whatever. To figure it out in ourselves, we need to make  a  little time to get to know ourselves as well and as honestly and with as much compassion, forgiveness and humour and love as we possibly can muster. Then we can figure out what we need MORE of to get where we WANT to go. Only then, rather than eliminating the things we love and want but which seem to get us into trouble can we add in the word 'AND' to the equation to get the 'MORE' we want with the kind of life BALANCE we need.

More ice cream 'AND' More walking = a passionately fulfilling 'AND' balanced hot summer day! I'll let you know how it all goes this summer. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Thank you for travelling with me along my foothpath this week.


My TRAILS MAPS: You'll find them HERE.
WEEK 13 :: 12 PHOTOS: You'll find them HERE.
BBPP Weekly Health Check:
 I am finding it important each week to take the time to write these blogs. Otherwise, work just takes over. For me this is already Christmas season and work on the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/New Year's line has begun. But it is important - so important - to stop once a week to reflect on the here-and-now and where we are situated in the immediacy of this moment in time.
Body: Struggling SO hard. Just managing to hold on to the status quo. It doesn't help to be filling wedding orders and having boxes of Jelly Belly beans and Toblerone's and Italian Maple nougat hanging about on the cracker-making shelves. Until this heat wave is over and it is safe again to go on longer romps, I will accept just holding my own if that is all that is comfortably achievable this week.
The Artist Soul:
The word this week is GREEN. After spending a most happy day at Pine Lake with dear friends, I felt so filled up by the green there - of the lush vegetation and the white pines, and the red pines and the hemlocks and the immediately recognizable, sweet-smelling poplars. My soul filled right up with the green of it all. I will try making a collage of greens this week.

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