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Archive for June, 2011

In the past week since I’ve really begun to focus on living a healthier lifestyle, I have seen a rapid shedding of pounds again. In fact, I’ve lost three pounds this week. That’s not a pace that I can, or should, keep up but it always amazes me how fast it comes off whenever I start to pay attention to my lifestyle. Here’s what I think the biggest factors in this rapid loss are.

  • No HFCS – Once again, I’m not drinking soda. I am a horrible soda junky and love Root Beer and Mt. Dew. I have no idea how many calories I was consuming every day in High Fructose Corn Syrup but it had to be in the high hundreds. I don’t care what the commercials say, High Fructose Corn Syrup is liquid death. By cutting out sodas and other things with HFCS in it, I’ve greatly reduced my caloric intake without a significant change in what I’m actually eating.
  • Eating better – I’m making it a point to eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast again. It’s very good for me and I actually enjoy eating it. I had gone back to skipping breakfast or grabbing a really yummy but totally unhealthy baked goods or bagels with cream cheese.  Instead of sticking with me like the oatmeal does, I would be hungry sooner and stronger than I am when I eat oatmeal. I’m also eating salads for lunch again. That’s two meals a day with little to no unhealthy ingredients.
  • Exercise – As I said in an earlier post, we got a new dog this past week. We were fostering her to see if she would be a good fit for our family. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the right dog for us so had to return to the shelter where she will wait for another family. However, having her around meant that I had to walk her in the mornings and evenings. Just because she’s gone doesn’t mean I can’t keep up the schedule I’d set for walking. That’s exactly what I did this morning and what I’ll continue to do. It’s nice to be moving again.
  • Medication – I’ve written about it over and over again here and still I could write more. I have problems with depression and food addiction. I had stopped taking my anti-depressant and I’m sure that some (a lot) of my eating was caused by those two factors. I am on a new medication now and I can already see it helping me to not have urges to eat.

And, of course, I’m making sure to work on my practice as much as I can. There’s something about being sincere and committed to your practice that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. When I am focused and clear, making better decisions about what to eat, think, say and do all come much easier.

We’ll see how long this rapid loss phase goes this time. Last year when I started this journey, I lost 20 pounds in what felt like no time at all. I don’t think that will happen this time around but at least I’m prepared for the loss and I know what to expect. I’m feeling healthier already.

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A Good Answer

Cover of "Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: T...

Cover via Amazon

One of the four books I’m reading right now is Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: the teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn. It is a great book full of different records of Seung Sahn’s interactions with his students. The title of the book is taken from one of the stories that Zen Master Seung Sahn would tell: one day a big man comes into the Zen Center smoking a cigarette. He blows smoke in the Buddha’s face and drops the ashes in its lap. If you try and stop him from doing this he will hit you. What do you do?

This type of story is called a koan (kong-an in the Korean tradition). Personally, I don’t know what the right answer is but my son seems to have come up with a good one. He saw me reading the book the other day as I was enjoying the cool evening air out on the porch. He asked me what the title meant so I told him the story. When I got to the end and asked him what he would do he looked at me as if it were as obvious as the fact that the book was printed on paper. His answer is one that I think any Zen Master would approve. It was short, direct, concise and absolutely right. It was one simple word: “dodge”.

Now there’s a clear mind at work!

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