Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mistake, Mistake, Perfection

The problem with starting a blog post when you don't have time to finish it, is that you find yourself staring at it, hours later, when you realise you've watched an episode more of Startgate SG-1 on DVD than you intended (feel free to judge me for my choice of viewing, but I like it), it's 11:00pm on a work night, you've completely lost any train of thought you had for the post, and you end up erasing half of it because you can't wrap it up how you wanted to. Cut to the next morning and you're re-reading it before you dash out the door, and you're groaning so much at every typo and unfinished sentence that your cats, thinking you're coughing up a hair ball, run for the cover of the other couch. What can I do? I've posted it and I can see from the little counter that people have already read it. I could fix it, but I hate doing that once I've posted something. It's like editing a class paper once you've handed it in. So instead, I will just acknowledge that I shouldn't do that again, and will now proceed to finish this blog post before I head out to (finally) see Invictus.

A few days ago, I found an old 'my healthy lifestyle' book which I had purchased a little over a year ago with the intention of using it. I never did; it sat on my dresser for a while, eventually moved behind the dresser of its (or my cat's) accord, and as if on cue to my pondering how to keep a food journal, managed to peek part of itself out from under said dresser. "Ah," I exclaimed to my empty room (because that sounds better than admitting I talk to my cats). "This is perfect!" I eagerly filling in the front part of the book with weight, body measurements and BMI (okay, I left that part blank, although I did figure it out) and then flipped through the book to start using it and promptly remember when I never used it in the first place. It really has the most useless layout of any food/workout book I've ever looked at. I think it suckered me in in the first place because it said 'my healthy lifestyle' and not 'weightloss' or 'fitness'. Healthy, I liked the sound of that. Studies have shown that you are more likely to eat healthy if you record what you are eating. Not only does this make you aware of every little chip you pop in your mouth, but it makes you aware of the amounts. Along with my six-week learn to run, I was going to record my food intake and track any changes that occured between the start and end of the program. Well, here I sit with the world's most useless food journal. It gives you a place to record total calorie intake, but no place to add it all up and figure it out. It only gives you one line to record breakfast, and only two each for lunch/dinner/snacks. Sure, I can fit 'pasta with vegetables and tuna and side salad' in that space, but I can't say 'whole wheat pasta with peppers and lemon garlic tuna, no sauce necessary, small side salad with tomoto, lettuce and cucumber with homemade oil and oregeno dressing'. If I'm recording what I'm eating, shouldn't I be as specific as possible? Especially if this book expects me to count the calories (which was not part of my plan, balancing and portion control was what I was going for). Alas, there is not getting back the $10 I spent on this journal over a year ago. Its cheery front cover with a fruit and tape measure is once again on my dresser and will surely, once again, find a home behind said dresser.

I briefly debated other ways to record my food. I use my computer a lot, surely I could find a template in word I could modify to fit my requirements, or search online for something. I even read an article (which I should have bookmarked because now I can't find it... d'oh!) about a guy who tweeted everything he ate and lost weight because it was like a public journal. I am on twitter (yes, SG-1, twitter, go ahead, judge away) but that's a little too public for me. Alas, my internet/computer queries usually just came up with things that were close but still not what I wanted. So now I have a simple $1.50 lined notebook, used by grade two students everywhere, that I've drawn some lines on and it seems to be perfect. Too bad I didn't figure this out one year and $10 ago...

It's only two weeks into my African dance classes and I'm still pretty much in love. Sure, it might still be the honeymoon phase where everything is new and shiny, where I overlook the few quibbles I have (like the slightly painful loss of skin from my right big toe both weeks) but something tells me this love is here to stay. It became apparent during the class that my love, not just of African dance but of all dance, is obvious to all. A senior dancer (eg. someone who has done these classes before) took me aside after the cross floor section of the class and told me that she watched me doing a certain move across the floor and it was just beautiful. Seriously, her exact words were "when you did [movement name that I don't know how to spell], it was really beautiful. Watching you do it was just so wonderful." I couldn't see my own face, but I'm sure the words 'high beams' could have been used to describe it. I thanked her at least a half dozen times and every time I did, she would repeat "really, so beautiful". At the end of class, one of the drummers approached me and asked if I had previous dance or movement experience. I explained that I had done ballet in my teens (oh so many years ago now), and she told me that it really showed, I made everything look so natural out there, the drummers were talking about it during their down times. Again, very, very flattering but very happy that I didn't know that during the class or I'm sure my selfconsciousness would have gotten the better of me and I would have ended up on the floor in a heap. My final compliment came from Lynn (the teacher). During class she had mentioned that there's an end of the year recital. "It's not like most dance classes, you don't have to participate, that's your choice. Let us know if you're interested in being apart of it and we will be sure to create a part for you." As I went to leave she stopped me.
"Will you be participating in the year end?"
"I don't know; I'll have to think about it."
"I really hope you do."
Then she turned to another student and asked them if they were enjoying the class. Just like that, I had received to outright compliments and encouragement from the teacher. It made me wish I had taken up African dance classes the day I moved home from Tanzania.

I had more to write but it's time to get moving to Invictus and instead of leaving this blog to fester, I will end with that positive note and start fresh next time.

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