Diets & Addictions

(Fallen colors. November 4, 2006.)

Most of the trees are bare now. Cold weather has moved in and is likely to hang around for a while. The days continue to grow shorter as we work our way towards the winter solstice when the pendulum will once again swing the other way. In the meantime, it’s dark. A lot. As much as I enjoyed having that extra hour of sleep last weekend, I don’t enjoy the extra darkness that comes with it. I know that’s just a matter of perception caused by my reliance on clocks and the way the routine schedule of the day works out. It’s usually dark when I leave for work in the morning and dark when I return home. That makes it seem like a whole lot of dark.

Aside from the dark, I do like the coolness of this time of year. We had a gorgeous day yesterday. It was sunny with a few cloudy spells. The temperature was in the 50’s, feeling down right balmy after the 20’s and 30’s of the other day.

We’ve had two ducks and a great blue heron hanging out at the pond. M the Elder worried out loud that the heron would eat all the fish. Not likely, I responded. There are a lot of fish out there. The heron could be chowing down for years and not run out of fish. Or frogs. Or whatever else is living in the pond that herons eat. I don’t think he was truly worried that our pond would end up fishless. It was just one of those passing thoughts.

Some time ago I bought the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I haven’t really done much with it yet. I’ve been saving it for when we move back east. I believe I’ll have more time for such pursuits once we move. It remains to be seen if that’s a truth.

Like a lot of folks who blog or journal, I have secret aspirations (which will no longer be secret in just a moment). I read a book and think I could’ve written that just as well (or just as badly). I enjoy writing. I’d love to be able to do something that involves writing. I don’t know what that might involve. I do know I want to explore the possibilities. I hope to do that with the exercises and prompts from The Artist’s Way.

There is a rebellious side to my nature, though. One that often gets in the way of my aspirations. It pounced on me yesterday when I tried to do the Sunday Scribblings. It’s that part of me that doesn’t want to be told what to do, what to say, what to write. It’s that part of me that insists it doesn’t want to write about Good and that there are millions of other subjects I could be writing about so why force myself to do an exercise just for the sake of it?

I need to rein in that part of myself. Teach it that there can be joy, and a certain freedom, in discipline.

In other thoughts…

I have a friend who was about to reach her 5 year smoberversary. “Smober” is a word often used at the quit smoking websites. Those of us who quit are smober and the anniversary of the date we quit is our smoberversary. Addict talk. Or rather, ex-addict talk. Whatever works, right?

Anyhow, this friend has recently lost her quit. She’s now trying to quit again. I worry about her. I know it must be tough to have come that far and then given in to the addiction. I know it must be tough to get back a quit. I wish there was some way I could make it easier for her even if the Universe doesn’t think these sort of things should be easy. I suspect they’re supposed to be hard, a way of making us earn our freedom from something we shouldn’t have been indulging (or overindulging) in. At least that’s how I saw it during my many attempts at quitting.

This whole business also makes me worry somewhat about my own quit, showing me just how tenuous a hold we have on our addictions and our recoveries, whatever those addictions and recoveries might be about. I did a lot of writing about my quit during the first year I stopped smoking. Then it sort of tapered off until I was only writing about it to celebrate my smoberversary. It was through writing that I nurtured my ex-smoker status and kept tabs on the cravings, what worked as a distraction and what didn’t.

I almost lost my smoking quit at about the same point my friend has lost hers, at or about 5 years. I wish I’d written more about it at the time so I could’ve warned her to watch out, that the waters of recovery at this point are shallow and filled with rocks and one could end up crashed near the shore, unable to sink or swim. I need to keep reminding myself that my own quit is in need of care and nurturing on a regular basis because it so easily could’ve been me, could still be me. There are no guarantees when it comes to staying quit. Anyone who thinks otherwise whether they’re at 5 years, 10 years, or whatever number of years, might have another think coming.

That’s my experience, at any rate. Your mileage may vary.

A few years ago I swore to myself that I would never contribute another cent to the diet industry. No more diet programs, diet pills, diet supplements, or diet books. None. Nada. There are all kinds of good reasons why I shouldn’t invest any more money in the diet industry, the main one being that I know how to lose weight. The formula is pretty simple: You must burn more calories than you take in. Period.

Then I tuned in to Oprah the other day. It was the show where she had her latest diet guru (how many diet gurus has she been through now?) telling us all about his latest book: You On a Diet.

Before the show was over and before I took the time to think about it, I was on Amazon.com using 1-click ordering to buy my copy of yet another diet book. I am helping to make the Drs. Oz and Roizen very rich men.

Arrgggg! (I tend to talk and make noises like a pirate when I’m frustrated with myself.)

The book should arrive sometime this week since I was so excited about it that I paid the shipping and handling costs rather than order $25 worth of stuff in order to get the Super Saver plan with free shipping and handling.

Prepare to be enthralled by the Adventures of Diet Woman as I once again become a guinea pig for the diet industry. I really should know better than this. *sigh*

Quick update: This was in the so-called news this morning. Didn’t I tell you I was contributing? Sheesh. Bad, bad, bad.

The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

NaBloPoMo: Day 6