Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Yellow House on the Right

It's so easy to get lost in the (somewhat American) desire for more. I feel so much better when I enjoy what I already have. How many people on this planet would look at my life and think I have it all? I have a practice of conscious gratitude that, I believe, has really allowed me to appreciate all that I have. Because I do have it all. I use it often and I'll do my best to describe it.

Whenever I'm feeling down about what I don't have, or envious, or yearning for something more, I turn my thoughts, consciously, actively, to what I do have. And, like most middle class Americans, what I have is an abundance. I start with something very small and allow my mind to wander...
I wake up in the morning in a warm, safe bed. I have been sleeping without fear, without hunger, for a number of hours. I eventually sit up and put my feet out onto the floor. The floor is carpet. I like carpet in my bedroom. The carpet is a color and fiber that I chose. I remember looking at different carpets in the store, running my hand across them, finding the one that I liked the best. I see the sun shining in through my window. My window that is not only one pane of glass but two. Two because that is quieter and keeps the temperature in my home more stable. I stretch, I slowly head into the bathroom. The bathroom is such an amazing place. I have knobs to turn and when I do fresh, clean water comes out. I tweak the knobs until the water is just the temperature I want. I have a toothbrush that's been charging itself all night and I brush my teeth. The toothbrush moves on its own.
You get the idea. I don't always think about my bedroom and bathroom. Sometimes I think about my clothes - do you get dressed based on how you feel that day? Can you imagine? Or my shoes, so many choices. Or food. The abundance of food in this country is insane. The fact that most of us are overweight, that we have to burn calories doing no real work in an effort to offset all that food - it's unreal. But the heavy stuff, my feeling of safety, my loving husband, my beautiful healthy has to be something big for me to pull those out. When Myra was a few months old we had a little health scare and I was definitely forcing my mind to focus on all that is right in my world.

Some months back I was driving in a nice area of San Rafael and noticed a particularly beautiful house. It was a perfect shade of yellow with white trim and beautiful landscaping - green grass, gorgeous flowers - the colors just popped in contrast to the yellow and white. I thought, "If I could only have that house...".

I stopped myself almost immediately. Time spent yearning is time lost in the moment. I want to shine with gratitude and appreciation for everything, everyone - all things good that are in my life. And it's all good. Right now, today, it really is all good.

So I just wanted to share my gratitude practice. It's the coping tool I whip out anytime I'm feeling like my life, my stuff, isn't enough. How much time do we take to really appreciate all that we have? How much do I have to be grateful for? I don't know exactly how but I believe this has a positive impact on my weight related issues. Maybe something about feeling content, feeling satisfied.

Ok, off the brain stuff and onto the body stuff. Last I posted was Monday, the 4th of July. I didn't get to the gym that day (it was closed!) but I got there on Tuesday. I did c25k Week 2/Day 2. Maybe it was just the day off prior but it felt easier than the first time. I'm still doing the 3.0/5.0 mph for the walk/runs. Last week one day I tried to up it to 3.5 walking. Bad idea. I need those 3.0 walks to recover. After c25k I did legs and shoulder. The lunges are finally starting to become doable. Notice I didn't say they are becoming easier. Nothing easy about them but I'm hanging in there because when it comes to lunges, I Believe. I also did one set of calf raises, mostly because it bothers me that my calves are so weak. For the first time my calves didn't threaten to cramp up before I even finished the one set of 8.

On Wednesday I went to the gym and did a 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill followed by 25 minutes on the upright bike. I did Level 2 on Random again and frick! - that bike was downright mean! It tortured me with series' like, 4, 4, 6, 6. By the end of the last 1.5 minute of level 6 I was practically praying! I can get very determined when it comes to these things though and I stuck in there, keeping my rpm's over 90 and not. giving. up. I usually burn between 385-485 calories during my gym time. I burned 529 calories. I know the mean bike gets credit for that! Then I did my weight training and core work. I held my first plank for 40 seconds and, due to poor math, my second for 45 seconds. Of course now I think I have to hold my second for 45 seconds every time because I know I can do it.

And finally, today. I did Week 2/day 3 of c25k. Can you believe I've already finished Week 2? Weird. I am definitely repeating Week 2. It was good though, I felt quite capable during the 90 second runs. Afterward I did chest and triceps with core work mixed in. And yes, I held the second plank for 45 seconds.

Well, there you have it. I've hit the gym every day this week except Monday. Tomorrow we're headed out to go camping and I'm considering going to the gym very early since I'll be missing out on Saturday and Sunday. I set my alarm but we'll see. I guess if I have any chance I need to hit the sack so I get 7 hours of sleep. I hope you all have wonderful things planned this weekend and that you take a moment to soak in the good things in your life. Next up, camping pictures!

Update: Up .5 pounds to 195. See? This is why I shouldn't complain when I have a loss. Must be more muscle mass :)


  1. "I want to shine with gratitude and appreciation for everything, everyone - all things good that are in my life."
    That says it all, Michelle, my friend, my inspiration. You are one of the very best things in my life and I do shine with appreciation for the happenstance that led our paths to cross.
    Glad that you are seeing and appreciating the progress you're making in getting back to being fit.
    Have a great camping trip with Miguel and the kiddos. Yes! on the pics!


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