Now that I have a new job (OMG!), I think it’s about time to start turning over a new leaf in a few other areas of my life. Namely, fitness — both physical and mental.
I’ve been trying to eat better this week. Not necessarily go back on a diet, but do the things I know I should be doing, but haven’t been. Avoiding sugar and high fructose corn syrup, eating only whole grains, drinking more water, getting more protein, stuff like that. It feels like I’m running in place, though, or doing a one-step-forward, one-step-back sort of dance.
For instance: dinner was steamed cauliflower, homemade cheese sauce, and frozen salmon. When I checked the package of salmon, the fourth ingredient was sugar. Farther down was MSG. And I think I saw high fructose corn syrup in there, too. And here’s another one: we decided to splurge on graham cracker crusts for a couple of cheesecakes I want to try to make (that’s another mildly amusing story). When I checked the ingredients on those, not only did they contain HFCS, but they also have some kind of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fats. *sigh* Of course, I’m still going to use them, and eat the yummy cheesecake I’ll be making.
At least I’m making a conscious effort to monitor what I eat again. These several weeks I’ve been unemployed have helped me pack on several pounds.
One big part of that increase is my abrupt change in activity level; I don’t walk at lunch anymore. I see that my new office building has a fitness center on the first floor, though, so I plan to see how I can take advantage of that over my lunch breaks or before work. Plus, we’re right across from Promenade Park, so I can go walking by the river or something, too.
Also, I had a discussion with Sensei this evening about my stamina. I brought up the fact that I can’t really go all-out for an entire 90 minute session, but I can do an hour. He said that it’s OK if I show up and only do an hour, then excuse myself. That seems like a pretty obvious solution, but I wasn’t sure if that would be acceptable form. So, I’m going to make a concerted effort to go to aikido twice a week, instead of just once. And if I have to either sit on the back wall for 15 minutes or excuse myself entirely, so be it.
On top of all this, I should really be practicing zazen daily, instead of once a week with the sangha. It’s so hard to make myself stop everything — literally everything — for at least ten or fifteen minutes so I can meditate. It feels like everything else is happening without me, and I’m getting behind. But those ten of fifteen minutes a day can make a world of difference to my mood and my physical bearing.
All this is a matter of convincing myself to do these little things one at a time, even if I don’t feel like it. Eventually, I’ll realize that they all make me feel better, and I’ll look forward to doing them.