SOOOO not a morning person

So yesterday’s writing workshop was marvellous. I was relaxed about it. There was hardly anything to do, no room setup to speak of, except for rearranging the cushions, no bathrooms to clean, no vacuuming, no flower arranging, just the group, meeting together and having a wonderful experience.

It helped, I think, that it was in the afternoon. I think maybe that helps with how much it takes out of me. I can do a morning gig, but even for a 10:00 a.m. start, I need to be there by around 8:30, which means I need to leave by 7:45ish, and I have to be up about 6:30ish. That’s a strain because I’m SOOOO not a morning person.

I do *like* mornings, especially those times when I’m up really early, up first, and there’s a mist on the lake our whatever, you know, that sort of holy hush and magic that you get around dawn — I love that. But it’s not a “natural” time of day for me, it’s not what my body considers a decent hour to be up and about. It’s a decent hour to be curling up and burrowing deeper under the covers for another delicious 90-minute sleep cycle (or more), and slowly coming awake after that.

That’s why 9:00-5:00 jobs were always pure torture for me, let alone that time when I worked as a bookkeeper (I know, right, that alone is a hilarious thought) and had to be there and put together(ish) and at my desk by 8:30, “there” being a hour’s drive away. Or that crazy six weeks when I did a summer course (French) starting at 8:00 a.m. five days a week. There were days when I literally could not remember getting there (I drove), when I could easily have run all the red lights and stop signs, or run over a whole herd of goats in downtown Ottawa and not have had any recollection of it. Times when I’d be sitting in the classroom at 8:30 and realize I was still sleep-breathing.

So doing a morning workshop is a bit of a stretch for me even now — doable, but it does wear me out unreasonably. So fine, I plan for that — no plans for the next day!

A Craving Is Just a Thought

I’ve found mindfulness is helpful for pretty much everything in life, but particularly helpful with weight loss and addictions because it has taught me how to watch my thoughts go by without having to act on them. Mindfulness is all about awareness and attention, and learning how to bring attention back to your breath — or to whatever you choose. And whatever thoughts you may have while you’re on the cushion are perfectly fine, you don’t try to push them down or send them away, but instead you just acknowledge them and move back to the breath.

I came to understand that craving is just a thought, and I know what to do with thoughts (see above). My meditation practice follows me off the cushion and into the rest of my life. So as I go through my day, when I get food cravings I just acknowledge them as thoughts, and then I can move on to have a different thought.

This is the tip of the iceberg about how useful my meditation practice has been on my weight loss journey. More in a later post.