Mar. 23rd, 2011

coffeesnob318: (Default)
So my plan was for March to be the month I focused on music. Having played piano since I was nine, I have always considered music to be a large part of my life, even though in recent years I have been neglecting it. And since I spent Spring Break in Memphis, home of the blues (I'm planning a blues tour of the city when I have time to explore it properly), music seemed to be the proper theme.

Then I spent the week in Memphis, where three things happened.

First, I went with a bunch of shutter-happy college students. Everything was a photo op. We were shameless tourists. And I ended up in a lot of pictures. Now, most of the time, when there are multiple pictures taken of me, I like some, dislike others, and have apathy toward the majority of them. Not this time. I hated them all. Every single picture that was taken of me last week, I despised. Now, I could tell myself that they were all just bad pictures - every single last one of them - but that's not so likely. Which means, a) I need to learn to stand up straighter and b) I really do look like that. *chagrin*

Second, we spent the week working at the Mid-South Food Bank, which was rewarding, hard work. We were tired and sore at the end of every day, but they told us that we ended up boxing up enough food to feed over 4,000 people. One of the most memorable things about the week, however, was seeing how much food gets wasted because it is too far past its expiration date to be safe. We threw away cheese and bread and all sorts of originally delicious things, not because there aren't hungry people to feed but because of a breakdown somewhere along the production/distribution line that just didn't get it to them before it went bad. It was sobering to see so much need and then, right beside it, see so much food that could have potentially met that need go to waste.

Third, the food bank was hard work. It was physically draining. I ached and creaked like I never have before. And I know that I am comparing myself to people at least a decade younger than I am (or, as I demurely phrased it to the 18-year-old baby of the group, young enough to be my son if I had been a slut in high school), but still. There is no reason that six hours of work - even very physical work - should affect me so drastically. I am seriously out of shape, and that's not something that gets easier to maintain with age.

So my conclusion is this: I need to spend a month (or two) on my relationship to food and fitness. I need to focus on how they affect my mood, my energy level, and my overall vitality.

I am not looking forward to this, but I find it necessary.

I already think a lot about food and health, but that's usually as far as I get in the process. Thinking. Sure, I've upped my activity level and I'm making better food choices overall, but my commitment to it is still sporadic at best.

I also want to streamline my kitchen to make this process easier. My kitchen is the most functional room in my house, but I notice that the things that are the most readily available are the things that are the worst for me. I would like to change this so that my healthier choices become the more convenient ones. However, I cannot bring myself to just throw away the less healthy food, so I'll need a way to distribute it.

A few ways I plan to incorporate these changes:

1. Fine. I'll do a food diary. This is something that I have avoided doing, because I expect to be appalled at how random my eating patterns are. But I am committed to it for the rest of March and April. We'll see how well simple awareness plays into accomplishing this goal.

2. Make more active choices. Instead of Eat This, Not That, it will be a Do This, Not That. Instead of sitting down to watch one more episode of Big Bang Theory or Psych (which, as an aside, I really do love, just a whole lot. Shawn and Gus? They're adorable.), I will pop in the Pilates DVD (and actually do Pilates, just to be clear. Not just watch it...which is totally what I did with that yoga video I popped in yesterday). Or I will go for a walk or jog. Something to get me off the couch. I should probably keep track of this, too. I wonder if there will be enough room on the calendar to include this information with my food diary. We'll see.

3. Give my kitchen an outbox. The outbox concept is something that is helping me de-clutter the rest of the apartment, so I figure it will help in the kitchen as well. Then I can bring the unwanted snack food up to the desk at the dorm, where it will be consumed within the hour. This is one scenario in which the students' locust-like behaviors will come in handy.

I am hoping that I will not make this more overwhelming than it needs to be. Because yes, I want to be more fit to be healthier. And yes, I want to be more organized in what I consume and how I spend my time. But right now? I mostly just want to avoid taking pictures like that again.

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