Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Learning | Awareness

I've been thinking about awareness, ever since a friend recommended a book to me.  

The title of the book is On looking: eleven walks with expert eyes. Think about the places you walk through regularly. How much do you really see and remember, after your walk? 

Cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz thought she was paying attention on her walks, until she began taking the walk with different people. They all see different things, during the same walk around the block, because they are all different people. The artist sees things differently than the urban sociologist, the physician, geologist or the naturalist (he was interested in all of the bugs!)

On Looking inspired me to look more carefully at my own neighborhood, when I walk my dog. My little pug certainly notices our neighborhood very differently. She focuses especially on the smells, particularly on things I wouldn't care to sniff.  I tend to notice the changes in gardens, or the birds.

Thinking of walking reminds me of the mornings when I was in high school in New Orleans. Our school had an open campus--students could leave the premises.  My best friend, Roberta, and I rode the bus over the Mississippi River every morning at a ridiculously early hour for teenagers to be awake. As soon as we got to school, we stuffed our belongings into our lockers, and went "mumbling."  

Mumbling was a term we borrowed from Roberta's father. It meant to wander aimlessly. We walked really fast on the sidewalks of the neighboring streets, talking about whatever was on our minds and laughing. The neighborhood had different architecture than the suburbs we inhabited, so I remember noticing the houses the most.  Many of the houses had crawl spaces underneath them.  

One morning, we slowed down and stopped in surprise. A big dog emerged from a hole in the crawl space under a large house. Then a smaller dog, and another, and so on, until Roberta and I turned to each other, and said simultaneously,"Five dogs!" That gave us a big laugh, and we continued our mumbling way back to school.

I don't know what we would have thought about Horowitz's book, if it had been available to our fifteen year old selves. But it's interesting to realize that we both noticed the same thing at the same time, and stopped to observe, instead of mumble, that morning.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Just Life | Quick! Someone Gets Married

Losing weight is painfully hard. The last time that I successfully lost some weight was for my brother's wedding and because, I went on the Atkins diet and killed myself at the gym.

So I was wondering if another wedding can force me to lose some weight again. I particularly want to lose my belly. 

The Atkins diet is pretty successful if you stick to it.  But I had to avoid all the foods that I really liked such as white bread, pasta, chocolate and of course sugar. 

While I was on Atkins, I ate so many hard boiled eggs that I would get nauseated at just the sight of them.

So I quit Atkins and unfortunately, slowly but surely, I have gained all of that weight back.

Eating is one of the most satisfying pleasures in life. Don't you agree?

A perfect day for me is the following:

A spotless house + A good book + A Chocolate cake/Cup cake + Chips + Coffee

I need a very big dose of self control. I keep hearing about the importance of replacing a bad habit with a good one. It is easy to say, but impossible for me to execute. Honestly, who wants to eat a celery stick instead of chocolate cake?

To help me add more self control to my crazy eating habits, I am listening to this free audio book that I have downloaded from our library Overdrive. It is called "Making habits, Breaking habits". It is giving me some clues as to why I eat the way I do.

As the author Dean Jeremy says" habit change is not a sprint, it is a marathon". It is ironic, I am a good sprinter but I can't run a mile to save my life.


If you have any realistic advice about how to lose weight and keep it off, please let me know.

For now, I am going back to gym again. I am just crossing my fingers that I can lose some weight without going back to Atkins again.

Just wish me luck.

Foodist : using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting  

Your food is fooling you

Thinner this year : a younger next year book  

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha