As part of the process of getting back to our normal diet, I looked up the book "Skinny Thinking" on the IPad. All the Skinny Thinking books can be downloaded HERE, at no cost. I don't follow it to the letter, but it's a good guide to get me back on track. The single most valuable thing I've gained from it is to remember that there is a spoiled child within who wants to eat anything she wants, and have as much of it as she wants. When I start thinking about, oh, I don't know, Joe's Kansas City Barbecue, I tell the child, "You can have that another time. Maybe later."
I know it sounds simplistic, but it helps. Another thing the author recommends is meditation.
Now, I'm not sure that meditation actually helps me to eat right, but it the most amazing relaxation tool ever thought up by the mind of man. I go for months or years not bothering with it, and then when something (like this book) reminds me about it, I am once again surprised at how I feel at the end of ten minutes of meditation.
The point of the exercise is to "not think" which is, of course, impossible. However, I can direct my attention back to a focal point when I find thoughts popping up in my head. I often imagine myself on a beach: I picture those random thoughts as writing in the sand, and when I catch myself straying from my goal of "not thinking", I watch gentle waves wash those thoughts away, leaving the sand smooth and untarnished again. Sometimes I imagine myself lying on the sand and watching clouds float by above me.
Back in the "hippy" days, there was a lot of talk about meditation, and "om" was the mantra suggested to use as an aid to meditation. I find a word like "peace" works much better for me. "Eternity" is another mantra that I sometimes use.
So this morning, for the first time in at least a year, I set the timer on the IPad for ten minutes, sat in my chair with my eyes closed and my feet flat on the floor with my hands laying in my lap, and began. At first all I thought about was the ticking of the clock in the living room, and before I could let the waves wash the thought away, I thought, "Ten minutes is going to be a long time, if I'm going to hear every second tick by."
But it wasn't. I was amazed that the time was up so quickly, and I felt refreshed!
For many years, my daily walk was my meditation. I've always been prone to wintertime depression, and when I forced myself outside and felt the sun and wind on my face, it was better than any prescription. These days my knees won't allow me to walk extensively, and I sometimes catch myself in the throes of self-pity, house-bound as I am. When that happens, I remind myself of all the things I can do, rather than the things I can't.
I hope to get in the habit of meditating in the mornings before Cliff gets up. Because honestly, those ten minutes today restored me in a way that was almost magical.
I'm sorry if it seems I've gone flaky, but it's what's on my mind. So take it or leave it.