Monday. Well that week didn’t totally stink at all. I worked very hard and I think things are starting to pay off. It’s about week 3 with Dr. Furhman guidance and I’ve actually lost some real weight. Not water weight but actual pounds and I feel a smidge lighter. Okay it’s like taking one log off a truckload of wood but it’s better than a splinter in your bedunky.
Two weeks in a row I fought off a weird pain. Made it to acupuncture and we think we have found a source in my left knee is slightly out of whack. Mark (who is also a physical therapist as well as an acupuncturist) showed me how we could get it a little better in place and I think it really worked. Now I have a new stretching exercise to help my knee glide more instead of sticking. That wasn’t a very good explanation but it boils down to my knee is just ever so slightly off track. It definitely felt better all week and no weird knee bumps or back spasms. Very good.
I worked really hard again on my food this week. I can honestly say at the end of this week I am starting to feel something different. I can’t quite put my finger on it, I was trying to explain to Mark that it feels like a calmness and an absence of cravings. I thought I would talk a little about some of the things I’m doing.
Probably the biggest change I’ve made is No white flour. So far I have stuck to that. Just takes a little extra thought. So no pita bread. No pita chips. No regular crackers (have you tried Mary’s Gone Crackers? So good! Made from seeds!) No regular bagels (I have some frozen sprouted wheat bagels in case I get the urge but so far so good.) I’ve had no pasta though whole wheat would be okay I just haven’t thought about it. Obviously no cakes, cookies or any baked goods (though on Friday night I had a bite of baklava and a small taste of a peach dessert). Plain and simple No white flour.
I’m trying to remember Geneen Roth’s idea of guidelines not rules. The world will not fall apart if some white flour passes my lips but in general I feel better without it. There is basically no nutritive value to it at all and I’m working hard on looking at the food on my place as a source of nutrition. What am I eating and how is it going to make me feel? Not just in the moment, but nutritionally speaking, how is this going to make me feel later?
I’ll talk about other changes I’ve been implementing later. But I do feel better.
Workouts went okay last week. I’m still struggling with the run but I graduated to run 2 minutes walk 1 minute and completed 16 miles last week. It’s hard. I don’t remember it being this hard but I know it was. I just have to also remember that eventually it will get better and I’ll have one of those great effortless runs again. (I think I had one before I just can’t remember that far back.)
This week was my first week with my Connecticut swim team. 25 weeks — Sunday 1 1/2 hours — 14 people, 1 coach, entire 4 lane, 25 yard pool — cost $100. I almost had a heart attack. $100?
The coach does it because he loves to coach. The coach was interesting. He looked more like Grizzly Adams than a swim coach. Khaki pants, flannel shirt, baseball cap and big grey beard and tiny glasses. I would guess he was well into his seventies. Later when I looked up his profile I found he was only 61! But then I found out he has been undergoing some pretty amazing stuff. Apparently he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has undergone some brain surgery to relieve some of the symptoms. Then for therapy he has been undergoing something called Deep Brain Stimulation. He has been undergoing this therapy since February and although the disease is still there his symptoms are under control and he feels great. What am amazing story!!!
It was really a luxury because he put the 4 of us “newbies” in the beginner lane and he spent almost the entire time with us. He had each of us swim individually so he could see what was going on. Two of the other guys were probably just a smidge faster than me — I could keep up if I wanted to work that hard. The other guy was working on breathing issues but I have a feeling in about 3 weeks he’ll be passing all of us.
So for me he said “Your form looks really good above water, but there is nothing going on under water.” Wow, busted that fast. “You are not going anywhere because you are not catching the water.” So we went over that again and he talked about anchoring and swimming past your hand and all that same stuff coaches have been telling me for years. I confessed to him — I hear that all the time but I never feel it. He said it was because I wasn’t finding the “still” water and went into some blah blah thing about bubbles and finding still water… He working on telling me to extend, extend, exaggerate the extension and the elbow up and not to move into the next stroke until I found the water. It was a lot harder than how I usually swim. He walked along the side of the pool with me sticking his arm out. I couldn’t extend anymore without popping my arm out of my socket. Then I had one lap that was pretty good because I was swimming “on top of the stroke” as he put it. But then I lost it.
He said one nice thing. He said that I was very good at taking instruction and translating into action. He said that was a good thing. Yeah, I said, but the problem is as soon as I implement the new thing, I forget three others.
Then he pulled me over and said “I’m going to tell you a little swimmer’s secret.” I was all ears. A swimmer’s secret? What is it? He held up his hand and pointed to three points on his palm. “These three points of your palm, that’s where you will feel the water.” There? In my palm? I’m trying to feel the water with my finger tips, kind of like smoothing grease into a baking pan. “These three points of your hand.” It was kind of like that movie city slickers where Jack Palance gives his “just one thing speech.” I’m hanging onto the edge of the pool as hard as I’m handing onto his every word ready to hear the secret of life. Was this it? Was this the key that was going to unlock the mystery of my weak swimming? I truly don’t know if it will work because like most coaches sessions, they say the thing that means the most right at the end and they you don’t have time to practice it. So on Wednesday I’ll try it in my pool in Manhattan and see what happens.
The rest of the team was finished in about 1:15. Coach Rich kept the four newbies and we each had to swim one length of the pool one at a time as he watched us. We did that for about 15 minutes each length giving us something to work on. I think by the end I was swimming hard but man oh man was I getting tired. Geesh my way swimming uses sooo much less effort…. And today, I really feel my lats. I didn’t even know I had lats.
So all in all a good week. A hard week but a good week. I’ve done my grocery shopping for the week and I’m ready to keep on going with my high nutrient food eating. And this week I will concentrate on just one thing — the present moment. What’s your one thing?