“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Moderation and Mindfulness

"Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle, freely chosen is a source of strength."

In recent days, I have been reflecting on these short sentences from the Quaker Advices and Queries. In the nearly three months that have passed since I became an ex-smoker (you are never a non-smoker; it is like being an alcoholic - one will always be too many) I have been fairly indulgent about what I have eaten and drunk telling myself that I "deserve" this cake or that glass of wine, "as a reward". As a result of this, I have put on a few pounds, and have now reached the stage where all my clothes are feeling somewhat snugger than I would like. And as I cannot afford a new wardrobe, I have decided to say "Stop" and go on (yet another) diet.

Looking back over the twenty years since my son was born, I have been on many diets, always to lose the same 7-14 pounds. At the moment, to my secret horror, I weigh the same as I did when I was six months' pregnant (although I don't look it). I would just like to get back under 9 stone, which would be a healthy weight for my height. But because I "only" need to lose 10 or 12 pounds, and because most of my clothes still fit (more or less) I have been quietly sabotaging myself. I have realised that I am usually fine during the day, when I am busy, but that it is when sit down in the evening that I "reward" myself for being good all day by eating and drinking all the wrong things - wine, chocolate, crisps. So I need to make better choices.

So I am going to try to consciously and mindfully adopt a more "simple lifestyle, freely chosen" and make healthy eating and drinking choices for six days out of every seven. Then, on the seventh, I am going to enjoy some red wine and chocolate or even a curry to prove that I can eat "what I like" without going hog-wild, and without sabotaging myself.

It may sound odd to relate this resolution to religion or spirituality, but I do feel as though I have been gently nudged in the right direction by Someone. Perhaps that is what being mindful means - attending to the sacred in everyday life, however mundane it may seem.

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