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Welcome to my blog. The purpose here is simple: to chronicle my thoughts, actions, plans, and goals in getting healthy in the year 2012. Feel free to look around and offer encouragement or suggestions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conscious Attentiveness

Weight loss is simple. By the numbers it is strictly a matter of consuming fewer calories than you expend. However simple is never simple. Weight loss is staggeringly difficult. There are a million things that can potentially trip you up and impede your progress before you leave your home for the day. It requires a willingness to turn your back on years of habit. It requires an ability to deny yourself the one thing you want most in a given moment. It requires nothing short of conscious attentiveness. What is conscious attentiveness?  Conscious attentiveness is a state in which every decision and action is carefully considered, measured, and executed with full cognizance. It's a term I've seen used in relation to yoga and psychology, but it applies to the weight loss process as well. It means looking past I want this to I want this but I'll forego this because I don't want the consequences of this. So right now you may be thinking, don't you always make decisions with cognizance? I mean, isn't the fact that it was a decision indicative of some kind of attentiveness? Well, yes and no. We, as living beings, eat. But how often do you consider why you're eating? A step farther, how often do you consider why you chose to eat what you ate? And farther still, how often have you considered the potential ramifications of eating what you ate before you ate it? Conscious attentiveness means considering, not only whether or not to eat, but what to eat, why to eat it, and what might be the outcome of eating it.....all before you put anything anywhere near your mouth. It is much more difficult than you might think. As Americans we have almost been trained to eat what is there. After a lifetime of eating what is convenient, it gets tricky not slipping back into that habit. After all, it is all too easy to gorge on junk or fast food and justify it by claiming to have been too hungry to wait. But that becomes a slippery slope that gets harder and harder to climb with each justification. I have come to understand that every meal needs to be carefully considered before I eat it. Just eating something, anything, isn't going to cut it if I want to continue progressing. It is more than just a good idea to consider what I'm eating and how it was prepared. It's necessary. More than that, it's necessary for every meal, every snack, every drink.

That being said, I'm trying to be as good as possible this week, as my birthday weekend is coming up and I fully plan to eat and drink badly. So the plan is to get a little ahead, if I can, so I backslide to where I might have been anyway without such concentrated effort. It makes sense in my head, even if that plan may have already been blown. Father's day brought with it a trip to The Cheesecake Factory, and the single piece of cheesecake I had, as undeniably tasty as it was, set me back three pounds all by its delicious little self. I intend to bounce back as hard as possible, but I've pretty much already developed a c'est la vie attitude. I refuse to be so consumed with a number on the scale that I start engaging in unhealthy behavior just to get to the number I want. I intend to apply some serious conscious attentiveness and eat like the healthiest week of food ever. Well, until Friday anyway.

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