Today was weigh-in day, and I was thrilled to see that the numbers on the scale continue to go down- 25.5 lbs so far. This summer of renewal and change has been just what I needed in many ways. The weight loss is great, but more importantly I am making changes that are making me feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As far as the weight loss goes, the habit that is helping the most is tracking everything I eat or drink using Myfitnesspal. I have been starting my day with hot water and lemon, measuring portions (my idea of what portion sizes were was way, way off), drinking tons of water, and just working to make better choices over all…trying to think of fueling my body instead of just caving in to cravings. The result? Many of my cravings are gone, and that amazes me. If I really want something, I have it, but I do my best to pause first and ask myself if I truly want it, or if it is an emotional need instead. Sometimes “cheating” is good, as it keeps you from feeling deprived.
Physically, I am exercising four to six times a week, doing yoga, kickboxing, and lots of long walks with the dogs (I just bought a muzzle for Coops to prevent her from picking up disgusting things on our walks that always seem to end up on me…). I love exercise, and now that the weight is coming off, I can breathe and move more easily. I feel it in my clarinet playing, too- another plus.
Mentally and spiritually, I begin each day with meditation- only ten minutes right now, but even that little bit quiets my mind and puts me in a good place to start the day. I have completely reorganized my music room where I practice and write. It all just feels better, and the static I felt there before is gone. I am finding that I want to spend more and more time there, as it is a restful and calm place where the many windows make me feel like I’m in a treehouse. Working there with the dogs at my feet just feels right. Today’s goal is to rework my book proposal for the book on my mentor. My first one was sophomoric, and I still feel mortified that I sent it in the my first choice publisher out of my own ignorance. I’ve done a lot of research now (better late than never!), and will have colleagues look at the proposal and give me feedback before I submit it to several publishers. I feel much more positive and hopeful about the whole process now.
I am getting in good practice, feeling better about my upcoming performance in Madrid. Another thing I am doing is what my teachers have told me and I always tell my students as they approach a performance- begin now visualizing the whole experience in a positive light- see myself walking on stage, smiling and confident, see the performance going really well, hearing the applause of the audience. I am bad about blowing my fears out of proportion, and steps like this make a big difference in changing my mindset. I’m also working with my wonderful therapist, doing EMDR, or “tapping”, therapy. I am open to whatever will help me release fears and open my heart and mind to being joyful and successful at what I love to do.
Little steps truly do add up. I plan to keep along this path of change and renewal, hopefully ingraining these new habits that will allow me to age healthfully and gracefully. If I stumble along the way, it’s okay- I know what to do to get back on track. That thought makes me feel strong and empowered, as it is all up to me- I decide…and I have decided that working on improving myself will only make a life that I love even better.