Monday, August 6, 2012

Fast and Furious

The lessons are coming fast and furious. After a weekend of brown rice cakes and kimchi, after carbo and electrolyte loading for my big bike ride yesterday, I stepped on the scale this morning to find I’ve lost a week and half in the battle of the bulge. I weighed in a full three pounds heavier than Saturday morning! How does that happen!!! It doesn’t seem as if I even ate three pounds of food! My little experiment with low calorie noshes may or may not be conclusive scientifically, but it serves well to alert me to the slippery slope of careless eating.

I described my foray to the Korean market in yesterday’s blog ( What I was a little vague on was whether I had eaten my kimchi and puffy wafers as part of a conscientious eating plan or stood before the open refrigerator with fork in hand, eating out of the kimchi jar and had grabbed a bag of wafers and mindlessly munched on them while watching a Top Chef season 3 marathon. I didn’t do either of those exactly, but in all honesty it was closer to the latter than the former. I managed to close the refrigerator and stand dumbly over the counter eating out of the kimchi jar, sometimes delicately topping a broken wafer with the stuff to make a nice little canapĂ©, sometimes just throwing the cabbage right down the hatch. That was especially true when I returned from my 32-mile bike ride yesterday that included a big climb up Old La Honda Road (famous in these parts).

Sunday morning, since I knew I was setting out for a long, strenuous day of cycling, and remembering how the weight management plan failed to give me adequate energy for the big ride I did in May, I also started the morning with a conscientious bowl of oatmeal, raisins, and a bit of maple syrup. I can say "conscientious" because I looked up all the component calories and figured it would all work well given the calories I would be burning over hours of cycling. I also had a piece of toast topped with butter and some shavings of hard cheese (the calories for which I did not look up). Out on the road I had maybe a half dozen Shot Bloks (Clif Bar’s chewable, 33-calorie cubes, designed to customize and track caloric and electrolyte intake during long outings and races. I just didn’t track ‘em so well.) And a mini-Clif Bar. And some other power bar I had stuffed in my Jersey pocket on the way out of the house—a paradigm of consciousness, yes? No.

Today will be different.

This morning I sat down with my seven o’clock chocolate shake, recited the blessing for all manner of food—Baruch attah adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam, she-ha-kol nihyeh bi-d’varo—Praised are You, Lord our God, Kind of the universe at whose word all things come into being (forgive the traditional gender biased language). I took a single draw on the tiny flex straw that comes glued to the side of my box drink, set the drink down, closed my eyes, breathed deeply and imagined all the nutrients diffusing throughout my body from head to toe, providing sustenance and satiety for at least the next three hours, until my next food replacement infusion. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. And then took another sip, repeating the entire experience, one conscious, meditative sip and savor at a time.

When I got to that last straw sucking gurgle at the bottom of the container I took one more relaxing breath and sang quietly to myself the blessing after meals that I have learned in recent years—Brich rachamana malka d’alma maray d’hai pita—You are the Source of Life for all that is and Your blessing flows through me. Then I sat a little longer, eyes closed, making the entire little meal a spiritual act.

Upon rising I went to the cabinet and grabbed a small plastic container, shook out a few capsules and washed them down with a long swig of water. With all the rice cakes this weekend, a little Metamucil couldn’t hurt.

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