Archives for posts with tag: tai chi

Today, I got a compliment and a criticism in the same sentence at tai chi. “Moves look good but no forces.” (native Chinese speaker) I just wanted to yell AAAARRRGGGGHHHH. I feel like Luke Skywalker with Yoda, trying but not doing. Spirals. Circles. Stupid forces. (Yeah, I know. They won’t be stupid once I figure them out. But right now …) All I can do is keep experimenting. I do wish we were still doing push hands, though. It’s less work when you don’t need to imagine the forces you’re deflecting – it helps to have real people “coming at you” with real forces. I haven’t reached the point where I can pull those forces out of the air. Yet.

In other news, I finally have an appointment to get my CPAP machine and oxygen. They’re coming to the house on Monday after a morning rehearsal. It means missing a meet and greet lunch with our new conductor, but it was that or wait another week … and I’m so over waiting. My patience no longer exists. Just two more nights, then I’m looking forward to a nap with the new machine. A planned nap, unlike the disaster that happened yesterday …

I swore I was not going to take a nap, just go to bed early. I was wrong. I sat down to watch The Big Bang Theory while drinking a green shake. I don’t know how long I was out, but the show was over, the television had shut itself off, and my dog was ensconced on my lap, licking at the green shake that had spilled all over my shirt and shorts when I somehow fell asleep while drinking it. I’m still not sure who got the lion’s share of that shake – me or Boo. Guess I was tired … and really glad my aunt got me a washing machine!



“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  A quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, but apparently actually from AA and NA.

That quote, as well as the Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon gets stuck in a loop on his friendship chart while trying to befriend Kripke and Howard helps him out by adding a counter and escape, pretty much sums up where I feel I am now. I need to write myself an escape clause.

I have a habit of wanting to jump in once I’m ready and just totally redo everything:

Throw out all the food and just drink green shakes!

Get four hours of moderate to intense exercise 6 days a week!

Follow the marathon training plan to the letter and second!

Have umpteen knitting projects going so you can knit what you feel like!

Only 1 knitting project in progress at a time so you can finish it!

Stay on the straight and narrow of whatever rules you’ve set up … NEVER deviate!

Only do what you feel like doing … in eating, sleeping, exercising, living …

I’m seeing a pattern. And a big problem with balance. I’ve seen this pattern before; I’ve pretty much figured out I’m in this life to get the balance thing figured out. (Tai chi is helping with that, in more ways than one!) The problem is, I tend to veer from one way of doing things to its exact opposite, never stopping in the middle. I see it in my eating, exercising, sleeping, spending, reading, writing … just about every aspect of my life I can think of. It even happens with my employment, where we work like crazy during the season and then have nothing in the summer.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and certain things seem to keep popping up. It’s all about choices. Big ones, yes … but even more so the umpteen little ones each of us makes each day. Will I get up with the alarm? Will I stretch this morning? Will I walk or ride my bike? Will I eat at the table or in the chair? Will I smile or frown? Will I turn everything off and go to bed or keep playing this stupid game? Will I stay in the moment this moment? And this moment? Every moment is a choice. It’s both overwhelming and comforting … there is a choice to constantly be made and in order to create my life the way I want to live it, I need to constantly choose the actions that will lead me down that path (Fit2Fat2Fit talks a lot about this – more in another post). OR, every moment involves a choice so when you turn the wrong way, there is always another moment in which to negate a bad choice.


So what’s next? What’s MY escape clause? I seem to do best with relaxed structure. Circles and arcs rather than straight lines. The tai chi principles of defense. I’m going to try paying attention to all the little choices.

Even though most kids are still in school, I’ve started my summer. There are no more concerts or rehearsals until September. All of my time is my own (yeah, I’ll work on seeing time in rehearsals and concerts – otherwise known as WORK – as my choice when I get closer to September) to spend as I see fit.

So what am I doing with it this summer?

I am choosing to spend some of my time in tai chi classes, 3x a week. What part of me wants to do is spend time every day working on the forms I’m learning. Unfortunately, another part of me is balking at the discipline, going “it’s summer! relax!” Except that it does help me relax. And breathe.

I’ve also been reading up on bariatric surgery. I have somewhere upwards of 100 pounds to lose still, and I’ve been frustrated in my attempts at biking and walking/running by a lung that hurts when I take a deep breath. (Yes, I’ve been to the doctor. And a specialist. They’re still working on it.) I still bike to the store and walk the dog, but that’s not enough.  I have gotten down to 180 in the past, but that’s still overweight for me (originally 5’1-1/2″, now 4’11-1/2″) and it required 4-5 hours of moderately intense exercise daily. I’m not ready to take responsibility for that – yet. That’s what this blog is about.

Before friends start freaking out at my mention of bariatric surgery (or gastric bypass/stomach stapling), however, keep reading.

I’ve been reading up on it for inspiration and for helpful behaviors to cultivate. While I do think the surgery is right for some people, I don’t think it’s right for me at this point in time. However, the amount of food eaten after surgery, behaviors like chewing the food to a paste, only eating a few tablespoonfuls at a time, drinking enough water, etc. are things that I can do without having the actual surgery.

I’m experimenting. I started today by taking a page from Downton Abbey and serving myself things to eat on a silver platter from my grandmother. A few slices of ripe mango artfully arranged in a glass dessert dish. A small piece of rosemary balsamic grilled chicken sliced on a stoneware plate from my aunt. A champagne glass of sparkling water. Now if only I had the series’ staff to serve me!

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