On Blandness…

I was having lunch with my friend M today and she told me about this *amazing* thing she is doing.  She is participating in a 100-mile bike race in Lake Tahoe this summer.  It sounded absolutely wonderful – the trip, the 6 am Saturday training sessions, the focus.

Right now I feel like I am sort of flailing about with my excercise.  Getting a Kinect has made everybody in the family more active, including me.  And I have been walking almost every day at work for a mile.  All is goodness, but it feels sort of mediocre.

So at lunch I was imagining myself participating – training for this amazing goal – and what a rush it would be.  How satisfied and proud I would feel.   But would it distract me from what I am doing now – my current slow and steady path?

By my traditional definitions, life for me has been pretty bland.  I haven’t been spending a lot and I haven’t been eating a lot.  Which, for me, can feel pretty bland.

I am working with a health coach, and one of the things we are focusing on is what I call “Tuesday Night Dinners”.   A lot of my extra weight has been caused by making dinners (and a lot of lunches and breakfasts) into feasts – fattening food and too much of it.  But for the past almost three weeks, most of my meals have been Tuesday Night Dinners – small, healthy, ordinary.  Which is a big change and it feels pretty bland and pretty awesome.

Likewise, walking for 15 minutes every workday feels pretty bland.  It is hard to step away from work and walk that same darn route again.

But blandness is good – very good – for me right now.  I still will get the occassional butt-kicking workout and delicious restaurant-prepared meal, but the majority is going to be a slow steady burn.

Which, most importantly, is sustainable.  Slow and sustainable.  And there will be some really great moments this year – both big and small.  Like the chinese curry I enjoyed with my friend T a couple weeks ago, the joy will be unadulterated because of all the Tuesday night dinners I have eaten.  If every night is a feast, the feasts cease to be fun.

So today when I walked my 15 minutes at work and ate my 3 PM apple, it was with the realization that it isn’t as glorious as an 80-mile bike ride starting at 6 am on a Saturday, but it is more likely to get me where I want to go, step by step.  Because along with spending and eating less, I am embracing the power and joy of blandness.



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