Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I was born without an OFF switch...

Or a STOP button....and I'm not even sure that I even have PAUSE.  

This is a bit of a problem when it comes to working, talking, fitness, eating, drinking, and well, pretty much everything.  

For example...when I'm at work, I blow through breaks and keep painting faces and helping people long after my shift has finished...I should really wear a watch, but I just get so stuck into what I do, I keep going.  Same goes for talking, I go on and on and absolutely revel in conversation - especially good chats with old friends or new friends that have strong opinions or just anyone who enjoys life and shooting the breeze - dinner parties fly by, as do 3 hour phone calls to Montréal.  As for fitness, well, I go all out on that to, when I have a day that I can dedicate to working out, it's not unusual for me to bike to my ninja training, workout with my ninja personal trainer, have a little break and a snack, do a MIJO bootcamp for an hour, then bike home...only to return to yet another gym later that evening to kick pads with a bunch of other taekwondo aficionados.  Obviously, eating and drinking are the same...when I'm hungry, I eat (sometimes the wrong things and too much) and when I'm thirsty I drink  (also sometimes the wrong things and too much), and I cook and experiment and bake and enjoy restaurants and bars.  I am not a half-asser, when I do something, I always use my full ass.
 
So, when I busted my ACL in taekwondo over a year ago and every doctor I spoke to said SURGERY...I may have freaked out, just a little bit.  Okay, no...there is no such thing as a little bit.  I fully freaked out (full-assed) - I cried, had a hissy fit, I went silent, I retreated into the dark recesses of my mind, and I panicked.  How could I take time off?  I have a schedule!  I have been working out up to 6 days a week most weeks and following an online eating plan that has me logging everything that goes in my mouth...even the junk...and since June, I've been struggling...bouncing up and down in the 140s and then settling back into the 150s.  Which isn't the end of the world, I may have actually even accepted the fact that my body is more comfortable a little heavier.  Shock!  Horror!  But, give up exercise?!  NO WAY!  How will I be able to de-stress if I can't hit the treadmill and rock out a run with my favourite workout mix blaring in my ears?  I can't just turn off, I can't hit stop...not even pause.  And then the date was set for surgery.  November 25th, 2014.

My injury occurred October 2013, initial diagnosis with sports medicine doctor was in November of 2013, and I finally saw the orthopaedic surgeon in February of 2014, so in June when I was informed surgery would be in November, it seemed so far off that I just put it out of my mind.  And like so many other things, November just crept up on me.  At 3 months until surgery, I vowed to make a concerted effort to get in the best shape of my life...I even searched online for a 90 day whiteboard calendar.  Then again at 2 months until my reconstruction I "recommitted" to getting into shape.  At 6 weeks out, I did the same, then 4 weeks, 3, 2, and 1...same deal.  Good intentions all of them, and I don't know whether it was fear of surgery that led me to eat the occasional bag of Doritos or hot dog, but for some reason, my eating was way off, though my gym time was not.  I still stress eat, even after all this time.  Like I said, I don't have an off switch...or a pause button...so I kept training like an athlete.  Faced with the impending hospital time, I tried to get rid of the negative and indulged in good exercise, splurged on nutritious food, and let go of the doubts in my mind.  What does my yoga teacher call it?!  Self-care.  I tried that out for a change.

Going into surgery I had a certain confidence about me.  After coming out of a very good week of clean eating, optimal exercise, and just enough rest to prepare my body and mind for a routine but fairly involved operation, I took a deep breath, pressed pause...and a little voice in my head told me, "Everything is going to be fine."

And it was.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Stuck in reruns...

Though a lot has happened in the last few weeks, I feel like I've been stuck on repeat.  Obviously, this blog is dedicated to my health and fitness journey...so why, oh why, do I rerun my least favourite episodes?!  The ones normal viewers would glance at and then change the channel in favour of something a bit more exciting, fresh, edgy.

It's December 1st and I haven't blogged in over 2 months...it's almost like last season's programming went a little downhill and I'm trying to come up with an exciting fall opener that will have people raving about the clever writers that must have been hired to keep the show alive, even in it's umpteenth season.

I have also come to the realisation that this programme may not be about weight.  I am already the Biggest Loser, I have completed the Taking If Off component of this performance, and as the TC Health Challenge concluded in April of 2013 - the Celebrity Weight Loss component has certainly come to a close.  Now, for those that want to see some reality TV...despite how terrible it is...let me rerun my Weigh-In Wednesdays for the last few months. 

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs
53rd weigh-in - January 22th, 2014 - 151.8lbs
54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs
56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs
57th weigh-in - February 19th, 2014 - 143.7lbs
58th weigh-in - February 26th, 2014 - 145.7lbs
59th weigh-in - March 5th, 2014 - 141.4lbs
60th weigh-in - March 12th, 2014 - 145.1lbs
61st weigh-in - March19th, 2014 - 149.4lbs
62nd weigh-in - March  26th, 2014 - 143.3lbs
63rd weigh-in - April 2nd, 2014 - 147.1lbs
64th weigh-in - April 9th, 2014 - 147.4lbs
65th weigh-in - April 16th, 2014 - 140.7lbs
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs 
69th weigh-in - May 14th, 2014 - 140.5lbs
And this is where I left you...fortunately, my programme continued over the summer hiatus...but wasn't aired because of a writer's strike.
 
It was shortly after this weigh-in that our protagonist returned to work.  After a year and a half of living the life health and fitness, credit card bills and reality forced her back into the rat race.  If only it were a race, she would have ribboned for sure.
70th weigh-in - May 21st, 2014 - 143.3lbs
71st weigh-in - May 28th, 2014 - 144.3lbs 
72nd weigh-in - June 4th, 2014 - 157.8lbs 
73rd weigh-in - June 11th, 2014 - 141.3lbs 
After moving from a management role and into an artist's position with her cosmetics company, Spitfyre was excited to show off all her hard work by donning a kick-ass outfit and making a guest appearance at a training session in Vancouver.
74th weigh-in - June 18th, 2014 - 138.7lbs
On her 74th weigh-in, Spitfyre came the closest she had ever come to reaching her elusive goal weight.  After 18 months of clean eating and training dirty, she celebrated her success in Vancouver with her Croatian Conscience.  
75th weigh-in - June 25th, 2014 - 143.9lbs
76th weigh-in - July 2nd, 2014 - 148.8lbs
Success has it's consequences, after getting so close to her goal, Spitfyre indulged in old habits...
 
77th weigh-in - July 9th, 2014 - 150.3lbs
78th weigh-in - July 16th, 2014 - 153.3lbs
79th weigh-in - July 23rd, 2014 - 157.1lbs
80th weigh-in - July 30th, 2014 -  149.4lbs
81st weigh-in - August 6th, 2014 - 150.4lbs
82nd weigh-in - August 13th, 2014 - 153.3lbs
83rd weigh-in - August 20th, 2014 - 155.3lbs
84th weigh-in - August 27th, 2014 - 155.3lbs
85th weigh-in - September 3rd, 2014 - 161.9lbs
86th weigh-in - September 10th, 2014 - 154.2lbs
87th weigh-in - September 17th, 2014 - 163.6lbs
88th weigh-in - September 24th, 2014 - 154.4lbs
89th weigh-in - October 1st, 2014 - 152lbs
90th weigh-in - October 8th, 2014 - 150.8lbs
91st weigh-in - October 15th, 2014 - 156lbs
92nd weigh-in - October 22nd, 2014 - 149.2lbs
93rd weigh-in - October 29th, 2014 - 152.9lbs
94th weigh-in - November 5th, 2014 -156.7lbs
95th weigh-in - November 12th. 2014 - 154.7lbs
96th weigh-in - November 19th, 2014 - 156lbs
Twenty weeks of reruns.  Up, down, up, down, up, down, up up, down down, same, down, up, this show is getting pretty boring, I hope I don't get cancelled.  Of course, that's up to me, isn't it?!?  Not the cancelled thing, the boring bit.  I need some more inspiration, I need to find my audience again, I need to stop my daytime soap opera saga and get back into writing dark comedy, drama, and sitcoms.  

I never understood why people watch soap operas.  The pace is so slow, something afforded to a daily programme.  At least with weeklies, you see the episode and look forward to the next one.  And time passes, but you're not witness to the mundane details of the characters' existence.  The writers are lazy, but you can be when you are writing about the day to day minutia of life.  Interest builds when you have an economy of air time, how do you tell the story completely in one hour a week?  You need to be clever.  If it's a serial, you have most likely established your characters and their back stories and you can focus on events and situations that intrigue, humour, and excite the viewer.  So that's what I'm going to do...start this season with a bang! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saddling up my unicorn.

The best thing about a new day is that you can choose how to face it.

Create your own destiny, follow the fourth agreement and do your best, live in the present, be mindful - every day is a gift, choose your attitude, and blah blah blah blah blah a bunch of other inspirational quotes with fancy backgrounds with stock photographs of beaches or forests or Buddha.  I say almost cliché...because I am notorious for posting such things on my Facebook and Twitter pages, and they seriously resonate with me, sometimes.  Whatever, it doesn't matter...what matters is that when faced with a new day, put your big girl panties on and kick its arse!  Give 'er!  Go for it! 

Yesterday I was riding a dark horse, so today I decided to saddle up that unicorn (with rainbow-coloured mane and tail and glittery gold hooves) and go on a joy ride.

You are always only one sleep away from a new day, don't let your yesterday take over your today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

High Maintenance.

It's time to get off this dark horse and ride a unicorn or something.

At least that's what the ninja said to me a while back. And, in all seriousness, I have been in a bit of funk as of late.

Why in the funk, Suzie Spitfyre!?

I don't want to talk about it.  (Because when I do I get weirdly emotional and cry. WTF!? Ninjas shouldn't be all teary...and broken.)

As you know from previous posts, for the last little while I've been bouncing around at about 145 pounds...I've come as close to goal as 138 pounds and gone as far away as 163. It is very hard for me not to obsess about this. “Focus on how you feel, ninja,” if I feel fit and strong, I'm cool. If I feel wildly out of control, I'm not so cool. In fact, I panic, doubt myself, and fall a downward spiral of junk food and other bad choices. Then I get over it, buckle down and take care of business. I got this, I know how to do it...in fact, I'm pretty good at it...when I focus.
 
That's my resent history...no crazy drops in weight, but no huge gains either. This is the boring part. No celebrating 7 pound losses, no surprising victories over push-ups, no mayor wearing his chains of office to congratulate me for being the biggest loser...just maintenance. And maintenance sucks.

I know, I know, I really don't have problems if these are my problems right?! Nonetheless, this stuff weighs heavy (pun intended) on my psyche. For the last year and just over a half, I have built myself up by leaning myself down, so going in the opposite direction scares the sh!t out of me. And the reason the scale is going in said direction...well, it's because of me. But, just as I had decided to give up drinking wine on the balcony, Bum Biter BBQs, and sneaking in a bag of Doritos while watching True Blood on my Croatian Conscience's couch...

I left the Shimmy Shack and embarked on a run along the Westsong Walkway. The run I do is around 7K and includes the stairs of death (there are 100 of them, and I try and do them at least 5 times..and lately I've been doing them a few more times than that...um...10 times, I'm a keener). So out I go on my merry little way, feeling particularly strong and fit...running to the beat of all these songs on my play list that are all obviously written specifically for me...when SNAP! Limp, limp, limp. Oh crap.

My little injury (ruptured ACL) has reared its ugly head yet again. Apparently, at the time of the MRI there were possibly two little strands holding on for dear life, and what I just did took care of at least one of them. Normally I wouldn't be such a cry-baby, but I was out on a trail about 2 kilometres from home and I was sore. I walked back along the pathway to my house...dragging my leg, ruing the decision I made to leave my mobile phone at home.

Realising that walking home in such a gimpy way ate into my precious get-ready-for-work-time, when I finally got home, I showered very quickly...but how was I going to work a shift if I couldn't even walk properly!? And to top that off, thou shalt wear heels on counter is practically written in the MAC dress code. I called my manager. “I don't think I'll be able to come into work today, I just felt something in my knee pop and there's a lot of swelling. I should probably ice it and keep it elevated, at least for today.” Damn, someone beat me to the punch, so no sick day for me. Already one man down. In pain, I put on my knee high combat boots, a skirt, button down shirt 'n' tie, braided my hair into two tight French braids, and took the bus two stops to town. Suck it up, Princess.

On a side note: As I “toughed it out” on counter, one of the department’s staff told me I looked less Wednesday Addams bad-ass private school girl (the look I was obviously going for) and more, well, how do I put this!? Nazi. Oh good. I wonder if that's why my sales were so high...”Buy this make-up or I invade Poland!” I know, I know, not funny...sorry.

The point that I am trying to make is this...when I feel out of control or upset, an easy fix for me used to be to lose myself in food. And now, it is to find discipline and focus at the gym...even if it's after losing myself in food because I'm not going to lie and say that never happens.  It does. Still. So what happens if you take the gym away?! Well, nothing good.  I get a little down in the dumps.

The gym is my meditation station, my decompression session, my opportunity community.  I
feel safe, and loved. Before embarking on this journey, I regarded gyms as places where hyper fit and annoying people hung out and tried to out-do each other. These gym-types were judgmental and exclusive. And then I walked through the doors of the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre...and I realised, it was the opposite. I was the bitter, annoyed person...I was judgmental and exclusive.  I was not looking forward to entering the gym, I didn't know what to wear, how to do anything...and the people behind those doors, well, they became a huge
support system, my mentors, teachers, my friends...they welcomed me to the health & fitness community with open arms, smiles free of judgement with a pat on the back for all my efforts. I had never experienced such a sense of community. My knee, on occasion, takes all that away, and I am left to stew. I start shutting down.

As soon as I was well enough to start gymming again, the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre closed for maintenance.  I told you maintenance sucks.  But, at least I found my unicorn.

On balance, ballast, and bobbles.

I am seated in half-lotus position, precariously perched atop the exercise ball that serves as a chair in front of my laptop.  I suppose there's no need to tell you that my balance has significantly improved since that fatefull day in New Orleans in 2012 when I rolled my ankle  and my 294 pound self came crashing to the ground.

But has it?

Yes, I can twist my body into different asanas and hold them, I can jump from a plank to a squatting position on top of a Bosu ball, and I can even walk on top of logs at the beach without fearing for my life...but sometimes I can't find my balance.  Coordination at the gym, studio, or in the great outdoors, no problem...but, trying to find equilibrium in life, well, that's just waaaaaaaay harder. 

Ironic, non?

How am I supposed to get up, go to the gym, workout, get home from the gym, shower, get ready for work, walk to work, get home from work, get ready for taekwondo, get to taekwondo (or yoga, or whatever), do taekwondo, get home?  How am I supposed to eat 6 times a day, and find time to make those healthy mini meals?  How do I get 8 hours of sleep a night?  How do I find time to read, write, blog, paint, draw, create, play, perform, and participate in all the other activities that I love and that have been falling to the wayside?  How do I do all the things I want to do?!?

Just breathe.

I started this post with yoga, so I will continue it in that way...it all comes down to breathing.  Deep breath in, deep breath out...I am feeling overwhelmed by everything right now.  So I have to break things down and concentrate on the one thing I do without thinking.  Breathing.  

You know how they say you don't know what you've got until it's gone?  The same thing goes for balance.  Losing my balance only makes me want to find it again.

This Weigh-In Wednesday is brought to you by ballast. 

1bal·last
noun \ˈba-ləst\

: heavy material (such as rocks or water) that is put on a ship to make it steady or on a balloon to control its height in the air


When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was burdened by my heaviness.  But now I realise that the extra weight that I have put on over the summer is a reminder that I need to find more equilibrium in my life.  I choose to interpret today's weigh-in as a reminder that ballast can also restore stability of character and conduct.  I will resuscitate, I will breathe, and I will regain my balance.  This is just a bobble.

Namaste.        

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good morning, Weed Wacker!

I'm up, I'm up!  

Well, it appears to be that day in summer where the city sends people in orange suits to my front yard (or the grassy knoll directly in front of my building) to cull the overgrown grass, blackberry bushes, and other extremely dry vegetation.  Great in the prevention of wildfires, also great in the waking of Spitfyres.  

I know, they're allowed to start city works at 7:30 AM...but c'mon...can't I have another 5 minutes of sleep?!  

Oh, wait...my lovely husband has just produced a skinny latte and placed it down on my bedside table.  I suppose I can face the morning.  I'm just happy I didn't get out of bed and walk around the place nekkid as a jaybird only to find weed wacking workers looking up through my living room window in disbelief. 

It's been quite some time since I have put fingers to keyboard and tapped out a blog post...why is this?  Am I lacking in inspiration?!  Quite the opposite, I have many an unfinished manuscript...or at least there are posts suspended in cyberspace describing situations here and there that have hindered, helped, hijacked, and heartened my journey towards health and fitness...so what gives?!  Truth be told, I don't know.  Perhaps I have just fallen out of the habit of writing.  I certainly haven't lost my sense of humour about what goes on in my life...and I am always up for a good laugh, even if it is at my own expense.  Ha!  So, I will attempt to pick up where I left off.  And...that was all the way back in May...wow.

May was my birthday month...and the one good thing about getting older, is that I seem to be getting wiser, or perhaps become more of a wise-ass - you decide. 

Birthdays used to always mean a bit of reckless abandon when it came to diet and exercise, but this year I was determined that May would be different.  In the beginning, I made a conscious effort to cut back on portion sizes and to stop capitulating when I got a hankering for something savoury after dinner.  Must remember to not eat all of those peanuts in the fridge that are reserved for fancy salads and/or the popcorn on the shelf that ended up there because I finished the last of the kernels and then my lovely husband replaced it with a whole new batch!  Seriously, I need a locked cupboard that only opens when a recipe requires it to, and not if I get peckish before or after dinner.  Also, must remember to eat enough throughout the day so that I don't mindlessly eat dry ingredients in the pantry out of sheer desperation...dry soy beans, I'm looking at you.  Seriously.

So how'd my May go?  Well, pretty much the same way the first 4 months of the year have gone...it's been a bit of a bumpy road, but I'm learning to ride out the rough spots.  And...most of the time?  I was comfortable in the saddle.

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs
53rd weigh-in - January 22th, 2014 - 151.8lbs
54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs
56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs
57th weigh-in - February 19th, 2014 - 143.7lbs
58th weigh-in - February 26th, 2014 - 145.7lbs
59th weigh-in - March 5th, 2014 - 141.4lbs
60th weigh-in - March 12th, 2014 - 145.1lbs
61st weigh-in - March19th, 2014 - 149.4lbs
62nd weigh-in - March  26th, 2014 - 143.3lbs
63rd weigh-in - April 2nd, 2014 - 147.1lbs
64th weigh-in - April 9th, 2014 - 147.4lbs
65th weigh-in - April 16th, 2014 - 140.7lbs
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs

And the weigh-in after my birthday week?  

69th weigh-in - May 14th, 2014 - 140.5lbs

140.5 pounds!?  That's a bloody miracle because after weigh-in Wednesday #68, I headed to Vancouver for a couple days away with the folks.  How did I approach eating and exercising in a different city without my "normal" routine?!  Well, I tried to get in at least 3 square a day and walked all over town for cardio.  Despite eating at Vij's, downing a cocktail or two whilst on "vacation," and eating mini cupcakes for breakfast on my birthday, skipping lunch in order to clean the loft, and having wine for dinner that night, I survived.  And, lost 3.6 pounds...woot...back to 140 point something!

Happy Birthday to me.

But that was then...and this is now.  So how am I faring at this point in time?!  I don't want to talk about it.  But, I also don't want to make excuses and gripe about how I have gone back to work and it's harder to find time to exercise now that I'm back to being gainfully employed...because it's not been the exercise that's been the problem.  It's been the food.  In fact, making excuses as to why it is impossible to get off the couch and head to the gym, is just that...and excuse, and I haven't got time for those.  I haven't really slipped on the exercise thing, still working out with the ninja (Jonathan Carpenter of MIJO Sport) twice a week and still heading to the gym 5-6 days a week with other activities thrown in...one of my favourites being yoga with Taryn Strong.  Om.  

And, speaking of om...as in "om nom nom"... that's what I have been doing a lot of lately.  

It is said that to achieve a healthy weight it is 20% exercise and 80% diet...and I believe it.  It doesn't make a difference how much I exercise if my food choices thwart my weight loss efforts.  That is not to say that a distinction should be made between acceptable and unacceptable foods, but that I, Miss Spitfyre, need to rein it in a little  Oh summer, not only do you come with weed-wacking-workers, but you also bring with you backyard barbeques, burgers n' buns, and a whole lotta beer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Confessions of a foodaholic...

My name is Suzie Spitfyre and...after all this time (68 weigh-ins!)...I am still a food addict.

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs  
53rd weigh-in - January 22th, 2014 - 151.8lbs
54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs
56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs
57th weigh-in - February 19th, 2014 - 143.7lbs
58th weigh-in - February 26th, 2014 - 145.7lbs
59th weigh-in - March 5th, 2014 - 141.4lbs
60th weigh-in - March 12th, 2014 - 145.1lbs
61st weigh-in - March19th, 2014 - 149.4lbs
62nd weigh-in - March  26th, 2014 - 143.3lbs
63rd weigh-in - April 2nd, 2014 - 147.1lbs
64th weigh-in - April 9th, 2014 - 147.4lbs
65th weigh-in - April 16th, 2014 - 140.7lbs
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs

After losing 5.2lbs this week...and the mandatory happy dance that comes with...I looked back over my food journals to see why I had such a gain the week before.  I knew I'd taken in a lot more refined carbs in the last few weeks than usual, but what else was going on?  I'll tell you.  Denial.  

And here I thought I was just indulging a little bit, turns out it was a bit more than a bit.  So I scrolled back through weeks of online food and exercise journals (my exercise has remained consistent BTW) only to see that, yes...I'd been overdoing it in the food department...and for the most part, getting away with it.  Month after month I was eating healthy nutritious food during the week and then indulging on weekends or special nights out.  Oftentimes, imbibing alcohol lead to a loss of resolve to eat healthily and liberties were taken in the form of potato chips, yaki soba, and ginger cookies.   

Interesting.

Check it out, my first real binge on junk food (since starting this whole thing on January 16th, 2013) was Superbowl Sunday, and February 5th to the 11th is the last week that I ate only nutritious food and stuck to my portion sizes without going over my quota calorie-wise.

54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs - The week before Super Bowl Sunday
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs - Popped up 10.5 pounds 56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs - 1 week of controlled clean eating and exercise, and the result is a loss of  8.7 pounds.

And then here's this past week compared to the previous 2 weeks...


66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs - I went up a bit from the week before, but no big deal (less than a pound)
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs - See what happens when I over eat and over drink?
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs - Re-visited portion sizes, didn't skip any meals, didn't over drink, and voilà...lost 5.2 of the 8.3 I gained the previous week.  I'm cool with that.

Let's talk denial now.  How is it possible that I haven't looked back and compared my last week to week before and to the week before that etc.?  Maybe I couldn't face what was written out there in cyberspace...or, I am a good Buddhist and I followed what I wrote about on Saturday, February 15th. 2014:


"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

I would like to think it's the latter, rather than the former...but it may just be a bit of both.  And, here's the thing, it doesn't really matter.  The point is, I know what I've done, and I know where I'm going.  And right now, I'm just loving life...I just have to learn to not celebrate it with copious amounts of food and wine.  That way history will not repeat itself.