Waiting for the Sun to Set

Rain thwarted my desire for a dusk photo of the city of Matera last night. My final night here, I couldn’t risk missing the ideal time for a view, in the tones of sunset.

The view point is adjacent to a main thoroughfare, a pedestrian walkway lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Family, friends and tourists create a backdrop of contentment. Children laugh and run in this car free zone, almost non-existent in Canada, except for indoor spaces like malls.

I knew to bring a jacket and the wind is picking up as the air cools. Sunset is different when you can’t see the horizon. The warmth has now gone, but the sky has no colour, just less light.

I waited till the bench was free and I now sit here anticipating the sought after dusk lighting for my photo. The smells from the restaurants are making my stomach growl, but I dare not leave for fear of missing that perfect opportunity to capture this view in the last moments of daylight.

I have no plan to ever return to this place, so it is now or never.

Blogging, Life Coaching


One of my favourite meals. Lasagna and Ceasar Salad. I make the lasagnas up 16 at a time, so it is a staple around here.

About five days ago I turned a corner on my eating. I’ve read similar words before and I hope these turn out to be true for me this time. Suddenly I am not overeating. I just started to trust myself.

I first had to dismantle all of the rules I’ve told myself about what I should and should not be eating. Instead of listening to my body I was making the translation through the word understanding.

What I mean by that are thoughts like, “I ate 200 calories, I can have more.” “I didn’t eat lunch I can eat now.” “I shouldn’t have that.” “I should have this.” Among others… I stopped interpreting my hunger and desire for food through this lens.

I just noticed when I was doing it. As I am writing, I do remember one time I overate….But it seems to have vanished. For the most part I am just losing interest when I am sated

I have tried to dismantle the belief that every thing is good or bad for you. It took a  huge amount of overeating a wide variety of forbidden foods before I trusted myself. My “social self” who learned all of the rules about eating from reading the opinions and “scientific facts” that are common in our media. We’ve been taught if we are fat we should follow strict rules of starvation. Little too heavy for a Friday evening.



One of my neighbours has had the audacity to sear a steak on a BBQ near by. They are flagrantly showing off. It seems a little much. I wonder if I went over with a couple bottles of nice wine, if I could get a taste? Now that, would be off-script.IMG_6209

The male appetite. It allowed a huge variety of food to be in the house because it would all get eaten. I’ve learned to cook and freeze, so I can still eat great meals, but I haven’t been able to replace the beef.

When you are buying half a carcass, you can have absolute control over how it is treated. The “good” butcher shops have all made that synonymous with organic and humane practices, as defined by them.

Don’t even get me started on grocery stores. So, I have not been able to find good steaks. The Presidents choice filet mignon with bacon come close. I’ll have to get me some of those.


New Gurgle

It may not look fancy, but it is left overs from a turkey dinner. Easy, nutritious, delicious and ready with little effort.

When am I actually hungry? Is a question I’ve been grappling with for weeks. I want to lose weight, so I may believe I have to tip the scales a little too far. I might need to be a little hungry.

Or, quite possibly, that is another holdover from the “think yourself thin” days, but I digress.

Physical symptoms of “needing” were not all hunger based so this marker of hunger was quickly shelved, at least until I could distinguish my other emotions.

So I started with a physical growl. Quantitative. This was softened to a gurgle because I recognized I would be in a full-on panic by the time I ate.

Then I got sick, dieter’s disease, gall stones, and I had to rethink that level. I stuck with it for a while and realized there is a blend. Sometimes I want to eat before the gurgle and sometimes not. Still too much.

So I’ve returned to trying to determine if the need in my body is hunger and I’m better able to recognize hunger signals, because I’ve been forcing myself to sit in hunger and await the gurgle.

I learned the difference between hunger and other needs and I also realized I’m more energized to exercise when I eat under less stringent standards. I now know when it is other discomfort. Just past thirty pounds since I got back from Spain.



Being able to flawlessly add swimming to my total number of points towards exercise, has put me on a 24 day streak. My sweet spot for exercise is when I feel energized. I don’t want to be tired afterwards. I want to feel good and engaged.


That “glob” is to show me the top. It is a watch and it is important to me to know where the 12 would be when I switch the tracker between holders.

I think I have found it. Don’t be alarmed. If you understand epigenetics it recognizes that only some genes get turned on. I swam competitively as a child and so my DNA is programmed to be the most in balance when I’m doing a lot of exercise, way more than most would require.

I need to walk 7000 steps, a little over 4 km everyday. In addition to that, 30 minutes of swimming 5-7 days a week. I can track it all on my new Misfit Shine 2.

I realized last year that a half an hour a day cannot be replaced with swimming for an hour three times a week. It must be spread out. There are other benefits of exercise, not borne out in the totals that are prescribed, but I digress. Daily is better than total minute count.

My weight is coming off. I am still working on my hunger signals, but I have noticed that I feel more like exercising when I allow myself to eat on a less strict regime. My body cries out for exercise like it does for food.

I think I’ll go eat my beef dinner and then have a swim. Sounds luscious.



Watching carefully for that split between I’m enjoying this mouthful and I want to get the next bite. It is subtle and ingrained. Specifically designed to make the bits overlap so that you don’t notice you’re not hungry anymore.

I stopped to experience a mouthful of pizza. This is where words fail me. It was a jumble of temperatures, textures, tastes and touch. The luxury of swallowing. The response of my salivary glands, the afterglow of the spices. That is what eating is like when you are hungry. No need to think about fat and sugar if you are reducing overall how much you eat.

Food must be delicious. Why eat something you’re not enjoying, at all? But I digress. I’m still trying to adequately define the difference between hunger and just wanting to eat more. That time, I was going to get more, just as I finished. I might be on a red herring here, but its worth investigating.

Now espresso. No question, my favourite. The coffee, sugar and cream in a very small volume, quite concentrated and intense. A small sip can be completely satisfying and certainly won’t make you feel overfull.

Being very careful about not overeating has begun to make me feel powerful. I am maximizing my enjoyment of eating. This is going hand and hand with not eating too much. It feels empowering.

I just had some coffee ice cream from the stand at the Farmer’s market. They took chocolate covered, Starbuck’s espresso beans and ground them up and added them to the ice cream. Fantastic. I knew I had had enough when I got distracted enough to be thinking about next steps.

When you begin to pay attention there is quite a difference between actually focusing on eating and letting your mind slip into other concerns. The first one I noticed of course was taking the next bite. It is still another focus. It means you’ve lost the enjoyment of eating.

My first analysis of the above would suggest that you would either learn to pay more attention to the food you were eating or forget to pay attention at all.


No Longer Hungry?

Anyway, I left the book on the deck. I never do that. I often put it away the instant I’m done writing. The impulse was to take it with me and do just that. But, I’m not expecting company and if I left it out it really wouldn’t matter. So I sat down just now to write and I was having trouble with my mouse.IMG_6850

You see my mouse is one of those red laser types. I need a hard surface. My picnic table is a round piece of glass sitting on top of a weave of some sort. Without my notebook, I wouldn’t have been able to use my mouse. Small I admit, but a big deal every time you have to use the touchpad instead.

I just noticed a thought I had about eating. I was going on in my mind about when to stop eating. The best way to describe it is when you are no longer hungry. Simple enough, but the devil is in the details. How do you define ‘no longer hungry’.

It is the change from enjoying the food to thinking about getting some more, while there is food in your mouth

This is still a concept I am perfecting. I had my first AHA moment, sorry Oprah, its become a thang, in Spain. Truth was I was there walking to figure things out. Multiple things. I would often get hungry during the day and I knew that if I ate too much, it would make walking uncomfortable for a while. This is a huge inconvenience when you are trying to average 15 km/day.

I had to learn when I could stop eating. I always had food with me in my pack, but it made more sense to eat less, stop more often (I usually had to anyway) and learn to stop eating when I wasn’t hungry. Feeling hungry after a stop was equally disturbing.