Thursday, May 5, 2011

All-Consuming Activities

The problem with dieting is how all-consuming it is. Or maybe it's not dieting as much as it is weight loss. I'm on a losing streak right now. That's good. I was at a weight set point for the better part of a year and a half. It seemed that no matter what I did I couldn't get below 254 pounds. I inched a pound or two below it, then bounced back to 258; back to 254 then to 260; to 254 then to 263. I've read about these weight set points, that somehow the body gets comfortable at that weight and breaking through it is difficult.

I finally did that in March, however, even before I began a healthier diet on April 1. Whatever I was doing in February-March—probably just eating less and exercising a bit more—was working, for I slowly dropped below 254, ending March about 251-252. On April 1 I began a rigorous eating program to control my Type 2 diabetes, and the weight had dropped almost as fast as my blood sugar. I'm down to the 241-242 range right now, with no lower set point in sight. I was last at 240 in 2001, losing 30 pounds for my daughter's wedding. Can I break through that this time? I believe I can. I suspect the next set point is somewhere around 230.

But the problem is, this concentration on weight loss and blood sugar control is all consuming. It seems that every waking thought, and probably the dreams I don't remember, is on this. I talk about it, think about it, write about it, obsess about it. Even yard work isn't yard work: it's multi-tasking exercise. It's the same as with genealogy, same as with writing. I have had to put genealogy aside for a while, for my writing life is consuming whatever part of me is not being consumed by weight loss and establishing healthy eating habits.

The new writers critique group is consuming me. I'm thinking about it all the time, trying to figure out what I can do to put it on a footing that will be sustainable and valuable to all who attend and for our church that is sponsoring it. How to increase sales of my e-books is consuming me. The John Wesley small group study is consuming me.

Hopefully you get the picture. I need to just turn off for a while, think about civil engineering. No, that tends to consume me as well, whenever writing and critique group and health and genealogy aren't consuming me. I don't feel like I'm at an equilibrium. It's kind of like a short, light verse poem I wrote a few years ago.
The Desperate Prayer of a Man Without Enough Hours in the Day

I offer You
this simple fix:
the daily hours
to twenty-six.
Of course, that wouldn't really work, for then I'd be wanting twenty-eight or thirty. So I really need to reach an equilibrium. I'll put that on my to-do list.

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