The changes I've been making are once again working. It's always the two things: diet and exercise. Always. I have been riding the exercycle almost every day. 20min sessions. Typically at least two sessions, but my stamina is back up, so often it's three, so that's 60min on the bike. It's beginning to make a few funny sounds and some grinding, so I think maintenance is in order. The last thing I need is for that thing to "grind to a halt". The rains are here now, and soon it will be really hard for me to get out of this flat, so that bike will be an indoor life-line to exercise when I can't get out and walk.
I'm back to having more energy, which is nice. It's amazing what that 15lbs feels like on me now and what it does to me. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the 250's again. My "goal" is the same: 250 by the new year. That's actually pretty reasonable (again). If it's so damn reasonable, then why haven't I ever made it? Hmmm?
The 266 may or may not be real, but at least is appearing to be for the past few days. I've had a few "cheese parties" the past three days or so, but at the same time, I've been very conscious of what I've had, and make sure to do 60min bike totals the days after. Fortunately, the cheese is now gone... ;)
Interestingly, my sensei hit me with something this past Sunday while doing my sanzen interview. I'd told him that I was doing okay, and wanted to ask him if I could start practicing with a koan. He said "I understand why you want to, but right now, I think the best thing for you to do is start being mindful of food." This really struck me, because I had actually begun that very practice about a week before-hand. "If you want to couch it in a koan form, ask yourself this: 'Who is it that craves? Who is it that hungers?' Explore that..."
And that is a very powerful practice, and one that I have wrestled with my whole life. It will be interesting to see where it leads me. I have an intellectual answer that jumps to the front of my mind, but as is typically the case, it's almost always the "not right" answer.
I am signed up for a week-long seshin the 3rd week of November. It's a "generosity seshin", and everything eaten is donated. I plan on making 48 seitan sausages (both links and patties) to contribute, along with dry goods.
I am looking forward to the ōryōki meals again. It's so nice to eat this way. Eating as a team. Eating as one hunger, with all needs met by your dharma brothers or sisters handing you everything you need, and you passing it on. All you have to do is focus on the sensations and flavors, and rest in the support that the sangha provides. Talk about gratitude.
This kind of generosity is more humbling than I can possibly describe....but know I deserve. That's because we all deserve this.
How sad that we have allowed ourselves to forget what is truly our birthright: Health, happiness, peace, joy and the support of family/sangha. I won't lie and say that I'm not looking for the weightloss aid that a week at the monastery will help out with, but honestly, as nervous as I may be about my first week-long seshin, what I look forward to the most is simply being held in that great vessel--that safe place--where, no matter what, I will be with those who love and care for me, and support me simply for who I am, and my willingness to be there as part of something greater than any of us alone. Everything you need is there, and in just the right amount. Truly. "Just enough..."