A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ~Oscar Wilde

Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

Go with the Flow? Perhaps.

I have just been reading this excerpt from Richard Bach’s “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”. I get it. Almost. Let me explain that: I understand cerebrally why abandoning oneself to the current is seen to be of high spiritual significance. There always arises the question, though: What is the current? How do general people, leading general lives define the current? How do they identify which is the current  and which is the rock that they are clinging to, to their own detriment? I feel that “go with the flow” as a life style dictum, is over used and under valued. I think people do tend to use the term and interpret it quite loosely when faced with nutrition and food habit choices. Let us take the ubiquitous Potato chip/crisp. It is present at every barbecue, gathering, in many school lunch boxes, and most families would harbour a packet or more in their pantries all year around. I know it is addictive ( though the jury still seems to be out on that).  We all agree that it is, perhaps, not the best choice for our health. Yet we continue to buy it, present it at parties, and eat it. Because that is what we do. It is the flow.  Why are potato chips considered so heinous? Fatty, and Salty? Two anathemas to good health as denounced by nutritionists, dieticians, medical professionals, personal trainers, general public… I agree. Yet, when we go to a party and there is a plate or two of crispy chips lying there, its salt and artificial flavours induced aromas wafting in the air, what do we do, we have “one or two”. We know it is not good for us, but it is okay, because it is “okay in moderation.” It is easier to eat it, than to refuse it. “come on! One chip or two will not do any harm!”  “YOU? You do not need to worry! Look how skinny you are!” “ Just eat, it is a party, after all, just relax!” Yet I feel that the saltiness and fattiness of the chip is only part of the story. We need food for nutrition. Because the right foods in the right amounts keep us healthy. Nutrition is a lot more than the absence of salts and fats. It is not the presence of those substances, which the body can process efficiently in small amounts and in occasional bouts,  (In fact, both salt and fats are, to some extent, necessary) that occurs in what we liberally term “junk food”, but the absence of nutrition that turns such food, into un-food. One day, in a rare burst of spring fever, I was cleaning under the kitchen shelf, and guess what I found? A crisp, crinkle cut, curved and still brightly yellow. I took off my gloves and picked it up in my bare hands, curious and fascinated. As I brought it close to my face/nostrils, I could still smell the chicken flavour on it.  It felt slightly soggy to my touch, but it had not deteriorated in any other way. Packed with salt and infused with heaven knows what preservatives, it was still relatively fresh, and if it had been sitting in an airtight container, I would have been tempted to pop it into my mouth.  As it was, I stared at it for a while in fascination, before I chucked it out and got on with cleaning. Remembering back to the last get together at home, which would have been when I had bought the packet of chips, it was probably six months ago, or so. Now, I ask of you, which vegetable lasts six months without proper food storage, like refrigeration, without becoming mouldy, rotten, runny, smelly, and generally non-vegetable like? It is basically because it was once food, and jam packed with nutrition, that it becomes rotten.  Invisible life forms, floating about recognised that it was food. These same life forms, knew to avoid that crisp piece of un-food. So much more intelligent that humans. So much more self-respecting that they would not settle on this piece of debris, knowing that they would not survive. There are certain categories of processed food, that do only harm, and some that may have some benefits, but can do harm if had in too high amounts, and there are some processed foods that somehow seem to still be nutrition dense.  So when we pop that chip into our mouth, are we really going with the flow, or are we just indulging, and using philosophy as an excuse to hide behind? I submit that the way we use “go with the flow” in our daily lives is the rock., that we must question our need to cling to. Here are some helpful tips to release oneself from the habit of over indulging in … chips.


In case you are wondering what nutrition dense processed food I am familiar with, leave a comment or email me at healthyw8coach@gmail.com


First Impressions: The Circle Begins

After reading class 1 on my “learn meditation page” of choice, I decided to go ahead and incorporate the exercise in my own way.

Fresh from the resolve, and eager to get going, I hunkered down that night for my five minutes before bed. I looked at the time, set my intention for five minutes and settled down to the first of the first steps. Breathe in and out at least 7 times. I don’t really know how many times I actually did so, I was concentrating on breathing in the life force and love, and breathing out my frustrations and negativity. I noticed a slight tendency to hyper ventilate and adjusted my in breath to less long. Which then meant I had to shorten my out breath as I did not have enough air in me to breathe out. Sigh! Then, of course, there was the noise. The trucks rolling past on the highway, the last of the neighbours hunkering down for the nights, and finishing up in their kitchens, and a host of other noises that I normally do not notice.

Aha! I am supposed to notice them, and let them go, so I did. I did not think there was any reduction to the noise level, but my breath calmed down, and the tightness in my chest softened. And all of a sudden I thought, “That would be five minutes” and my eyes popped open. Feeling a little “hmm… need to learn a bit more”, I looked at the time, and what do you know? Exactly five minutes!  So I must be doing something right!

I had the heaviest, deepest sleep that night for a long time. My limbs felt heavy, and even in my sleep I was aware of a heaviness. Let us not forget the dreams! The dreams were vivid, and scary and adventurous. I had trouble waking up in the morning…

So my morning was rushed and chores grabbed me before I could settle down and meditate. But I got that bit done before that 7:20 am hit its mark and the need to madly rush out into the day manifested.

All through the day I felt removed. I had a standard 21st Century muddle of a day mixed with work, friends, family and chores, with its attendant pulls, pushes and drags.  But I did not feel like those things quite touched me. Not that I was unemotional, but it felt like the emotions were an outer part of me, and hence something that I observed and let go, rather than get gripped by them. It was a wonderful, liberating feeling.

I think I am going to love this. I think I am going to be able to carry this on.

Have you joined us on the Bodhi Circle yet?

PS: this morning, during the time I meditated, I did not notice any back ground noise at all. It was still. Quiet. Interesting. Time for Class 2.

The Locked Trolley

A regular day of shopping. Or so I thought it would be. Get some regular day to day clothes that always seem to reach end of life, get some food and ingredients that always seem to get eaten and head off back home. As I parked the car I realised that I was in the wrong spot for the supermarket, it would be a long trek back pushing a trolley. Shrugging off the thought with another, “It will do me good to push the trolley further” I went off to do my shopping.

140 minutes or so later, there I was pushing the trolley back, laden with groceries and figuring out how best to get to the car. Of course, it involved getting out on to the street and pushing it along the footpath, across a pedestrian
crossing and then across a set of lights further along. All the while within the bounds of the mall, I was just in between two buildings of Westfield, not away, just to a car park within the shopping bounds for this Westfield. Somewhere I have parked often before.

What happened? You guessed it, my trolley decided I was a Bad Woman, trying to run away with it. Down descended the yellow lock and my trolley would not budge. Right as I was going across a driveway from a car park where other, more clever parkers of cars had parked close to Coles.

So here I was, dragging my trolley back to safety and poking underneath it to see why it had locked itself.

A pretty girl asked “Whoa! What happened?”

Giving the trolley a scientific jerk, I said, “the trolley won’t move!”

Her male companion said ”You have to push it.”

!*@!*%! Really?

I decided against answering, and the girl helped me by lifting the trolley and the guy offered helpful hints “it’s locked” “I don’t know” “it’s locked”…

They strolled off after a while.

As I dragged the trolley along to the short distance to the car park, I assumed that something had gone wrong, and that I was unable to unlock it because I am not clever enough. Until another helpful person walked by. “That is locked,” he said. “They do it on purpose. You cannot unlock it, I got caught just like this the other day on the other side.”

“I am just trying to get to the car park!” I wailed. He shrugged and turned away.

Thoroughly disgruntled, I jerked, pushed and pulled the three wheeled and one locked trolley back to close to my car, and then took my things and went home.

Mr Coles, and Mrs. Woolworths, and all the other giant markets who feel the need to protect your trolleys from the big bad gang of trolley thieves please be assured that we are not ALL out to get your trolleys. And we might need to park a little distance away, probably because the car park near the supermarket is full. Probably because we have to go to other shops as well which are a fair distance away from your end of the supermarket. So while you invent ingenuous new ways to stop trolley theft, spare a thought for the vast majority of us who are innocent and honest and desperately want to do some legitimate shopping.


In the meantime please enjoy the Christmas tree from Darwin.



Consider a Different Choice

There is a plethora of information available to the seeker. What to eat, what not to. How to exercise, how not to. What is good for us, what is not. Most of us know most of it. But knowing is a very different thing to doing.

We know that skim milk in our coffee is better than full cream milk. We know that walking for 30 minutes to an hour everyday would improve our health by leaps and bounds. We know that turning off the TV and playing a board game with our children would make us happier.

But all  of this does not always fit in to our lives. Skim milk does not taste as good as full cream milk, it is so difficult to find 30 minutes to walk every week, let alone every day, the news on TV is so riveting and the little one should really be in bed, anyway!

So we put it all into the too hard basket and lope off to the Doctor get our medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, back ache, diabetes, and a host of other chronic and preventable diseases. Many of these medications are expensive, have too many side effects and do not do much more than temporarily relieve the symptoms. But we get dependent on them. We would rather pop a few pharmaceutical drugs than a few supplements, and just blame our whole life’s problems on living in the 21st century.

How about we take a step back? How about we take responsibility for strengthening our bones, and improving our cholesterol level? How about we consider that we are not living in the 21st century, the 21st century exists because of us, and we are really just living?

How about we just recognize when we can make it a shorter work day, and leave work earlier? How about we turn off the late night news, most of which we have watched during the evening anyway, and go to bed earlier? How about we get up half an hour earlier and get on that treadmill we bought last year for Christmas? How about we walk to the train station instead of taking our car? How about we just pack our lunch to take to work?

See  – we all know it. We know that each change that will improve our lives by a large multiplicand is actually just a tiny shift in our perception of who we are. A really tiny shift in perception. Instead of viewing ourselves as a generation of overworked, underpaid, stressed out, stretched for time, overburdened by war and mayhem, unloved and unappreciated billion lives, we can see ourselves as loving, loved individuals, who make the happiest choices for themselves.  It is just a slight shift, does not take much at all.

There are millions of people who already live this life. They exercise, and eat well, they make responsible choices for themselves and for their families and that extends out to the whole world. All we need to do is believe that we are not really that different from them.

So the next time our colleague / friend/ chance met in the coffee queue says “I love waking up at the crack of dawn, and going for a swim”, let us consider not turning up your eyeballs and saying “Oh you are so lucky, I simply could NEVER do that”. Consider instead “Oh, how lovely! Maybe  tomorrow I can come with you!”

And maybe the next day, we will!

One step at a time!


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