Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live." Douglas Adams

This past week and a bit has been a big learning week for me. I mean, every week I learn something (don't eat even slightly pink chicken!), but there were a lot of lessons and 'a-ha!' moments this week. (I hope everyone is now singing "Take On Me" like I am).

First lesson: celebrating Towel Day doesn't mean much when you're at home where no one sees you or at the gym where everyone is walking around with a towel. So much for educating the masses, I'll just have to stick with singing "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" while standing at the photocopier at work.

Second: When you plan properly (and use a few of your weekly extra points) you can be really bad on the weekend. Case in point: I celebrated a friend's birthday with three drinks and cheese on Saturday night. Only used 8 extra points. Yay planning! It gives me hope for the next two weekends where I have a bachelorette party and a wedding to attend. I can do this!

Third: Along the same food idea, I have learned that I can have chocolate at my desk and not eat it. See, the weekend I ran the 10K I discovered Côte d'Or Passion Fruit Chocolate and it was pretty much love at first sight. I love Passion Fruit; it's a love I picked up in Tanzania and, unfortunately, I don't get to indulge in very often now that I'm home. I bought one of these and pretty much devoured in within 30 minutes of cracking it open. While trying to make healthier food choices these past few weeks, I decided to needed to work out a reward system and why not make it something I really love? Something I would feel very guilty about if I was to over indulge in my reward? One of these chocolate bars has sat on my desk since last Wednesday. Every day, around my afternoon coffee break, I break of one square and enjoy every last bite of it. I'm amazed for two reasons: 1) When you limit yourself to such a small quantity, you learn to savour it so much more 2) I am still slightly shocked that I haven't just torn into and eaten the whole thing (it's sooooo good). Maybe I can do this whole healthy eating thing...

Fourth: I really love West African Dance and I love the people I've met through it. I participated in our Annual Student Gala on the weekend and it was quite possibly the highlight of the past few months. I threw myself into my dances (I did two) and came out the other side sore and out of breath but so, so happy. I hit all my moves, I jumped as I as I could, and I got lots of compliments from other dancers (and who doesn't like that?) Through MoonDance, I have found a community where my love of song and dance is cherished and my less-than-perfect-physique is loved. Having danced for many years in my childhood, I know how precious that can be. Every person I have talked to has been so friendly, so kind, and so encouraging it's hard to express in words how great that can make a person feel except to say that I look forward to those dances classes in ways I've never looked forward to other group activities. I have chosen not to do the four week summer class (too many other things to concentrate on at the moment) but I will definitely be back in September to rejoin my extended (dance) family.

Fifth: You always hear people talk about losing friends when they decided to do something to better themselves. I think I have found mine. Negative comments and under the breath remarks have made me re-examine why I considered this person a friend. I'm not totally ready to rule her out (I honestly don't think she's aware of the negativity she's causing), but it's been a good reminder that there are those out there who like to see people fail at something they try. Perhaps my failure would just be further proof for her that she doesn't need to do something about her unhealthy choices but she'll just end up where she is now. I'll just use that to spur me on, to show that success is possible.

Sixth: No sixth lesson learned, I just didn't want to end with the downer so I'm going to make up a learned lesson: a towel is the most useful thing a hitchhiker can carry and don't panic.

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